Sully Says: Sad time for Hog football
There are few things worse than watching your quarterback take a beating.
Gus Malzahn had one concern heading into Saturday's match-up: containing the Hogs giant quarterback. Cole Kelley did enough good things at Alabama to force Gus to order his Tiger defenders to go on a four-quarter "big game hunt."
It's a good thing Kelley is 6-7, 270 pounds and Cajun tough.
Auburn teed off on Kelley for 40 minutes. There were six recorded take-downs and many more hits on the redshirt freshman. The fact that he was still throwing passes in the final minutes is a testament to his size and toughness.
The number of clean "blindside" shots Kelley took is concerning. The good news is Ole Miss and Coastal Carolina are next. The bad news is that Frank Ragnow is done for the season. It's hard to have much hope for that line without Frank leading the way.
On the flip side, I don't know if the Hogs laid a hand on Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham.
This is sad, but I've gotten used to seeing the Hogs get pushed around by the power teams in the SEC.
The margin for error in games with teams like Auburn is slim, and the Hogs were far from perfect on Saturday.
Bret Bielema said things would be better this year. I've learned over the years that a year older doesn't always make a player a year better. We see that with the offensive line.
Losses like this in year five put Coach Bielema in a tight spot. The response he got when he was introduced to the Reynolds-Razorback stadium crowd was less than welcoming.
I have found that coaches are like elected officials. When you lose someone's support, it's hard to regain their backing.
Two questions must be asked when deciding the fate of a coach: Are you happy with where he has the program now? Do you feel good about the future of the program under his direction?
Through seven games, it's hard to answer "yes" to either of those questions.