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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Perhaps Pittman should listen to Sam-alytics

by Wally Hall | September 13, 2023 at 2:45 a.m.

A few random thoughts after two weeks of college football:

Arkansas Razorback Coach Sam Pittman has chastised himself enough for going for it on fourth and 1 from his own 34 last Saturday.

It was less than two minutes into the third quarter and the Razorbacks were leading 14-6 and no doubt wanting to put a dagger in heart of the Kent State Golden Flashes.

The play lost 2 yards and put the visitors at the UA 32.

Pittman said the analytics said go for it, but the Sam-alytics said no way. But he did.

Kent State's potential scoring opportunity crumbled under Arkansas' defensive effort that led to an intentional grounding call that left the Golden Flashes with a fourth and 26 at the 48.


Pittman has been very open about his concern for Arkansas' running attack, and he should be because the competition is going up starting this week.

However, a key stat in Arkansas' 28-6 win was time of possession.

In the second half Kent State had only three drives that lasted a total of 7:40, while the Razorbacks had four drives that consumed 22:20.


After the first reading of Nick Saban's comment after Alabama's 34-24 loss to Texas in Tuscaloosa, it was thought he was accepting the blame.

Then it seemed maybe he was left-handedly blaming the players.

He said: "We've got to do a better job as coaches to help [players] be able to play more consistently in the game. Put them in a position where they have the best chance to be successful. But I think all these things are fixable. I believe in our players."

Finally it was decided there's enough blame to go around and this was another Sabanism, using the media to send a message to his team.


Arkansas State is last in the FBS in scoring differential having been outscored 110-3 in two games.

Sam Houston State is the only other team to be limited to a field goal in two outings, but it has given up just 27 points.

The Red Wolves have had a tough schedule, opening with undefeated Oklahoma and then hosting undefeated Memphis.

They host winless Stony Brook, which has been outscored 72-27 total, this Saturday night.


When Arkansas hired Chad Morris he hired, Jeff Traylor. It appears it should have been the other way around.

Traylor took over as head coach of Texas-San Antonio in 2020 where he is 31-11 and fresh off a win over Texas State, which beat Baylor on the opening weekend,

Traylor was 175-26 in 15 years as a head coach at Gilmer (Texas) High School. leading it to five state championship games and winning three.

His UTSA roster, including all players, has 85 from the state of Texas.


It seems odd to look at the SEC standings and see Alabama 1-1 and tied for fifth, although these are unofficial standings because the first conference game won't be played until this Saturday.

Maybe last year was more of an indication of the future than anyone realized when the Crimson Tide didn't win the SEC West outright, but tied with LSU and the Tigers advanced to the SEC Championship Game.

Or maybe no one should ever count Nick Saban out until he says he is out.


Who would ever have thought the Pac-12 would have eight teams ranked in its final season as a conference.

The conference is 21-4 collectively, but that will change, as will the rankings, when they start playing each other.


In closing, how bitter would it be for the Big 12 if Texas, who along with Oklahoma becomes part of the SEC next season, won the national championship?

The Longhorns made a national statement with their road win over Alabama.

Print Headline: Perhaps Pittman should listen to Sam-alytics


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