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2009 Arkansas Razorbacks Football Review

Looking for info on Current Arkansas football team? If so, go to
2010 Arkansas Razorbacks Football.

Very, very lucky win in the Liberty Bowl; 20-17 in Overtime over East Carolina. It took 3 straight close-in field goal misses (in the frigid cold) by East Carolina, but, "better lucky than good" right? "A win is a win" -- right?

Get your 2010 Arkansas Razorbacks Football Tickets now!

The Arkansas Razorbacks are Liberty Bowl Bound. They will play the East Carolina Pirates at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee on January 2, 2010. Read our Arkansas vs East Carolina Preview.

Congrats to the Razorbacks. Big win over South Carolina, 33-16. The win sets Arkansas up for a winning season and a bowl bid. They need one more win to be bowl eligible. Maybe the Liberty Bowl? Get your tickets at Arkansas Football Tickets.

Wow, close, close loss at Florida. In fact, lots of folks think the Razorbacks should have won that game, but for some poor officiating. Check out Florida Almost Upset By Arkansas.

Arkansas played Alabama on Sept 26. You'll be surprised to read who, historically has the edge.

Arkansas Razorback Football Helmet

The Arkansas Razorbacks are coming off a frustrating season in which it seemed that, despite the best efforts of Head Coach Bobby Petrino, the team never really could get off the schnide and turn the boat in the right direction on the rocky course that was the 2008 football season. 2009 is a year in which significant change is expected, and the highly touted Petrino is going to be expected to turn the team in the right direction.

 2006 SEC Football Championship Game
2006 SEC Football Championship Game.
Thanks to bjsmith at flickr.com for the picture .

After a reasonably solid start that showed that the Arkansas Razorbacks may actually be a team of promise in 2008, the team went through a prolonged funk over the middle segment of the season, a stretch in which the team only managed to win once in 6 games. Petrino did, however, keep the kids believing, and slowly but surely the team did improve its game play over the course of the season, and even managed to win its final regular season game at home vs. SEC rival LSU.

Entering 2009, the Arkansas Razorbacks are, in fact, on notice. The time for improvement is now.

One thing that the Razorbacks have going for them as the team enters the 2009 season is that of the most important members of the 2008 squad, nearly all are returning, and to both sides of the ball.

However, the most important person on the Razorbacks roster this season, particularly from an offensive standpoint, may in fact be a newcomer. The arrival of transfer quarterback Ryan Mallet from the University of Michigan should provide a real jolt in the arm to the offense. Mallet comes with a lot of potential talent, and if he is able to quickly adapt and pull the team with him, the offense should show significant improvement from how it performed last season.

Arkansas Razorback quarterback Ryan Mallett.
Arkansas Razorback quarterback Ryan Mallett.

The team will also have to rely on some of its key returning talent on offense. One of the most important players on offense, in addition to Tallet, is running back Michael Smith. Smith, who will be entering his senior season in 2009, had a tremendous year in 2008, in which he finally got the chance to show what he could do, now that NFL star Darren McFadden has departed. Over the course of the 2008 season, Smith ran for over 1,000 yards, and also added another 300 yards in the air. He also managed to get into the end zone 10 times. And what may be most impressive is that Smith did all of that despite missing 2 games due to injury.

Defensively, the team is going to have to rely on its front 7, as the defensive backfield is relatively young and lacking in experience. The best player up front is probably senior defensive tackle Malcolm Shephard. Shephard had a fine 2008 season, in which he managed 53 tackles, including 13 for a loss. He also managed 7.5 sacks. As he enters his senior season, this legitimate NFL prospect will likely elevate his game even more. This will, hopefully, offset the youth and inexperience of the secondary, which lost four seniors from the 2008 roster.

As far as scheduling, the team's non-conference schedule is fairly light (including games vs. Missouri State, Troy, and eastern Michigan), and should present the opportunity to win at least 3 games. All told, Arkansas is poised to take a step forward, and a 6-6 or 7-5 season is realistic if the QB play comes together quickly.

 Arkansas vs. Alabama

Arkansas vs. Alabama head to head: 1998 - 2006

 Hogs vs. Tide

For a full explanation of this chart, you've got to read the comment by hogNga to
Houston Nutt: The Ghost of Mississippi.

Other Arkansas Football Pages

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