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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Apathy is not an issue with Hogs fans ... yet

FAYETTEVILLE — Somewhere between Alabama and Mississippi State, there is an APB for an improving offense.

One that almost kept pace with the ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, the LSU Tigers and the Ole Miss Rebels.

It was definitely missing in action Saturday. The Razorbacks didn’t drive into enemy territory until the second half, finishing with a total of 200 yards and leaving enough bad taste for all of the reported 70,000-plus Arkansas Razorback fans on hand.

It was more like 60,000 actual bodies, but unless something drastic happens, the number will be even less for the next home game Nov. 11 against Auburn.

Final scores of 7-3 aren’t supposed to happen in the SEC, and if not for a huge gift to open the game, the Razorbacks would have been shut out.

On the second play of the game, Mississippi State quarterback Mike Wright was picked off by Al Walcott at the Bulldogs’ 34. What happened then was a peek into the future: The Razorbacks drove to the 6 and ended up settling for a field goal.

Their next trip into the end zone is scheduled for sometime in the future, like their next run up the middle for more than 2 yards.

The play-calling was heartily booed, and it was understandable, because the Bulldogs seemed to know what the Razorbacks were going to run before they did.

It is to be a tough two weeks for Coach Sam Pittman and offensive coordinator Dan Enos as the second-guessing is going to go six-deep for almost two weeks.

Arkansas' defense played well enough to win, holding the visitors to 205 yards. But the defense also contributed 30 yards in penalties in MSU’s 69-yard touchdown drive — the Bulldogs' only end zone visit of the day.

KJ Jefferson didn’t put up the same numbers he did against ranked teams, passing for only 97 yards on 19 of 31, and he also had an interception and a fumble. But State knew who it had to slow down, and they were able to sack Jefferson four times for 36 yards of losses.

The Bulldogs also had three other tackles for losses.

Arkansas had one sack and five tackles for losses.

From start to finish, as Pittman said, it was a bad day.

It was like the players had gotten confused about dates, not to the homecoming dance, but arrived early for next week’s open date.

The Hogs couldn’t have played slower if they had walked backwards.

And no, that wasn’t Pittman’s contract Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek had in his hands at halftime. Yurachek believes in Pittman, and he believes that you can’t quickly rebuild a program that was 1-23 in SEC play in the three seasons before he hired Pittman.

The biggest issue, and the fans voiced their opinion, is the play-calling, which seems predictable and uninspired.

The fastest player on the team, Isaiah Sategna, continues to return kicks and punts, but he’s not part of the offensive scheme and his speed would only help the other receivers get open.

Reportedly he had some drops in August practices, but you can’t improve without playing. On Saturday he caught a total of two passes and was swarmed under by Bulldogs both times.

Like they knew he came in for tunnel screens.

Pittman took the blame, which is what he is supposed to do, and said he needed to figure it out, which is what he is supposed to do.

Arkansas has lost six consecutive games and is 0-5 in SEC play. Those winless wounds under Chad Morris are still a little fresh.

The Razorbacks haven’t slipped that far, but the need for speed is there. Letting homecoming become humiliating is not setting well with a lot of the fans — and it shouldn’t. The vocal reaction from the fans shows that they still care, and that apathy is not a problem ... yet.