For the most part, fans tend to care more about revenge than the players and coaches do.
That goes for any sport. It isn’t just because those very same players and coaches say, “We take it one game at a time.” It’s because, really, something that happened a calendar year ago almost never really applies to what’s happening now.
Much has been made about Auburn’s taste for blood after last year’s 54-46 loss to Arkansas in four overtimes in Fayetteville. And while, yes, Auburn people do want to beat Arkansas, there’s no extra oomph in it simply because it’s Arkansas.
— Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) October 18, 2016
Think about it. Why would any player or coach hold back on emotion for every other game? The human body can only run X miles per hour. Only X amount of energy, physical and mental, can be exerted. They aren’t rollover minutes. You don’t hold off one week to save up some reserve for the next game. It just doesn’t work that way.
Certainly it isn’t uncommon to have coaches, especially those at lower levels and with younger teams, use the “Remember what they did to us last year?” The supposition is such words spark more adrenaline and, in turn, more aggression. It’s also human nature to want to right wrongs against you.
The body and brain, however, do not work that way. Not for long amounts of time, anyway. Not in football. Players aren’t lying when they say it’s just another game. The intensity levels spike for several minutes at the beginning of the game, then cool. Like when that player post-game says, “We settled down.” Literally that’s what happened. The body cooled and relaxed.
So, believe Auburn has it on its mind — some of us will continue to trot out that tired “seeking revenge” trope — but know it’s mostly a fleeting experience.
Arkansas’ new linebacker is the same as its old linebacker
Meet Dwayne Eugene. He’s this guy.
If he looks somewhat unfamiliar, you’re pardoned. You probably don’t know him too well. Even those of us around the team just about every day don’t know him too well. Maybe that changes soon, as Eugene was around Tuesday during Arkansas football player availability as the new keeper of the second linebacker spot next to Brooks Ellis.
In two previous seasons, he had seen nothing but garbage-time and special-teams duty. When Arkansas was looking for a third linebacker most of the last 18 months, Eugene’s name was always about the sixth or seventh named. There was Josh Williams, who started two seasons ago when Ellis went injured a couple games. There was Khalia Hackett, who was handed the starting role on two separate occasions, only to lose it both times. Randy Ramsey was the potential-laden guy who couldn’t make things work. De’Jon Harris is the best of the new crop.
What Eugene has going for him, besides a couple years in the program, is his speed. He, like Dre Greenlaw and Hackett, is a converted safety. He was recruited as one and figured that’s he would be in college. He wasn’t, instead immediately moved to linebacker and never redshirted.
Dues = paid.
“The SEC is built on speed. To have speed at the linebacker position is totally key,” Eugene said.
The job is an important one as it’s a gig vacated by the now-injured Greenlaw. And what with Arkansas’ dearth of depth at the position, anyone stepping into the role competently — or better —can go a long way in stabilizing an otherwise weakness. It’s just, well, almost no one figured it would be Eugene as the one do it.
Even with Eugene’s rise to the top of the depth chart, he’s aware it isn’t guaranteed forever. Or next week, for that matter. And linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves cautions not to forget about Harris. It isn’t like he suddenly became a bad player.
“It doesn’t mean anything for Scoota (Harris) other than we got a couple, some more ball games left and he’s going to play,” Hargreaves said.
He’s real and he’s spectacular
Dusty Hannahs is, for my fandom of the game of basketball and life, one of my favorite players.
It wouldn’t matter who he played for, the way Hannahs plays earns my praise. Although, I think he took it badly when I called him a “jerk” last year. But I meant it in the most positive sense.
The man is a baller. He knows it and he carries himself accordingly. Sort of like the basketball version of Drew Morgan. Just fun to watch. More than swagger, Hannahs has some attitude and DGAF in his game, attitude that’s helped him develop into, for my money, the best shooter in the country.
Hannahs was rewarded as such Tuesday when he was named to the Jerry West Award watch list, an award given to the best shooter in college basketball.
— Razorback Basketball (@RazorbackMBB) October 18, 2016
Don’t wait, though. Whether he gets the award come the end of the season, Hannahs’ stroke is magnificent.
Remember, too, Razorbacks basketball will have its Red-White game this Sunday at Bud Walton Arena. The team announced rosters Tuesday afternoon:
Jaylen Barford, junior guard
Trey Thompson, junior forward
Dusty Hannahs, senior guard
Brachen Hazen, freshman forward
Dustin Thomas, junior forward
Manuale Watkins, senior guard/forward
Adrio Bailey, freshman forward
Daryl Macon, junior guard
Arlando Cook, junior forward
C.J. Jones, freshman guard
Anton Beard, junior guard
Moses Kingsley, senior center
Expected starters when the season comes are Kingsley, Thomas, Hannahs, Macon and Barford. But expect coach Mike Anderson to roll with as many as 11 guys throughout most of the season.
The game is at 4 p.m. at Bud Walton Arena. Entry is free, though fans are asked to bring a nonperishable food item for donation to the south doors off Leroy Pond Road.
See you there.
- Cross country All-American Frankline Tonui has been selected as SEC Co-Runner of the Week. Tonui finished second overall in helping Arkansas to a second-place finish at Pre-National Invitational over the weekend. Next up is the SEC meet in Fayetteville on Oct. 28.
- The women’s cross country team finished the regular season No. 10 in the nation and No. 1 in the South Central Region ahead of the championships on the 28th.
- In the Fall World Series, Arkansas baseball’s fall intrasquad series, the Gray took a 2-0 series lead after a 10-6 win Tuesday night. Carson Shaddy went 4 for 5 with an RBI and a run in helping the Gray squad. Game 3, by the way, has been moved to Thursday at Baum Stadium with the threat of rain on Wednesday.
- Also in baseball: A source told me that first baseman Austin Catron is no longer with the team. Catron was the team’s starter at designated hitter at the beginning of last season but had been overtaken on the depth chart, leading to his leaving the team, the source said. He would have been a senior.
Former Arkansas running back Knile Davis was traded from Kansas City to Green Bay on Tuesday. Davis was the No. 4 running back on the Chiefs depth chart but should move up to the top backup role with the Packers.
The crew over at Pro Football Focus are some of the best football analytics men and women out there right now. They’ve probably earned some fans in Arkansas now, too, as they have quarterback Austin Allen among the 10 best in the nation.
Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson, who is tied for the SEC lead in rushing touchdowns by a running back, is, per 24/7 Sports’ Brandon Marcello, expected to play this weekend against Arkansas. Johnson hurt his ankle Oct. 8 against Mississippi State.
Arkansas’ defense has to quit jacking around after a good play, says Hogs safety Josh Liddell.
Former Hogs basketball player Pat Bradley has joined the SEC Network. Bradley played at Arkansas from 1996-99 and is fifth on the school scoring list. He will also coach one of the teams Sunday as a celebrity coach.
So, what’s Auburn D-Lineman Montravius Adams think about that “revenge” mentioned above? “I really can’t remember it.” Good stuff from our Benjamin Wolk, who covers the Tigers.