Harris: Razorbacks Hit Rock Bottom Against Crimson Tide In 52-0 Fiasco

by Jim Harris  on Saturday, Sep. 15, 2012 11:59 pm  

An Arkansas fan reacts to Saturday's 52-0 loss to Alabama. (Photo by Mark Wagner)

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

FAYETTEVILLE — Never has a team with such high expectations fallen so far so fast quite like the Arkansas Razorbacks, who managed to blunder in all kinds of new ways in an embarrassing 52-0 loss to the No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

CBS Sports may rethink ever putting this matchup on the tube again. LSU’s 45-3 stomping of Auburn last year was awfully ugly, but Saturday’s blowout may have been the most one-sided SEC game since the network started carrying the league to every corner of the nation.

Fans and media thought last Saturday’s 34-31 loss to Louisiana-Monroe was the worst loss in Arkansas program history? It took the Razorbacks only seven days to top it.

It’s one thing to get run off the L.A. Coliseum floor 70-17 by Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush in their Southern Cal prime. Defending national champ Alabama is good, but this was ridiculous.

The game was so bad — the result and the effort by some of the Hogs, particularly in the second half — it prompted fifth-year senior quarterback Tyler Wilson to attempt a Tim Tebow moment (re: post-Ole Miss, 2008) and hold his own, take-no-questions press conference following head coach John L. Smith after the game.

“Do I feel like we, at times, gave up out there?” an emotional Wilson asked aloud to a roomful of media.


He continued, “As a leader it sucks to see people not do their jobs and to see things go wrong. There have been a lot of things go that way. As a leader, at this point, you have to look forward. There have been a lot of people jump off the bandwagon and it is my job to keep everyone in this organization and this team in that locker room together.”

One would have hoped the head coach could do that, but Smith said that after Saturday’s wipeout he didn’t know what to tell his team.

Wilson was ruled out of playing Saturday because of a concussion suffered before halftime in the ULM loss, and the staff knew earlier in the week he would not be available. Still not wanting to tip their hand to Alabama, the Arkansas coaches had Wilson dress and warm up before Saturday’s game, but even his presence on the sideline didn’t seem to inspire all of his teammates for the duration. There was some noticeable quit among some upperclassmen on both sides of the ball.

Alabama’s third-team defense would have put up more of a fight than Arkansas’ did at times in the second half. Alabama cruised 75 yards in six plays coming out of halftime to lead 31-0. Even when ’Bama wasn’t trying to score late, nobody bothered to tackle Tide third-team quarterback Blake Sims on a 27-yard scoring run straight up the middle.

Smith made perhaps the worst miscue of anyone all day when he benched regular punt and placement snapper Alan D’Appolonio for Will Coleman. Smith said he made the move after deciding Coleman could help bolster the Hogs’ punt coverage.



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