Tusk to Tail: Let’s hear it for the refs!

Do you think that Arkansas gets treated poorly by the officials compared to other schools? Do the refs have it in for the Hogs?

Todd Rudisill: There have been plenty of other schools getting treated poorly. And Arkansas has certainly had its fair share. Was it the wrong call Saturday on the backwards pass? Absolutely. But the Hogs had plenty of chances to win with better special teams, not chasing points on 2-point conversions, or an offense that showed up in the first half. The Hogs should have played to win after getting the ball back with 3:00 left. I still feel that the Florida game in 2009 (Sheppard unsportsmanlike conduct, and phantom PI call in end zone) was much worse of a hosing by the officials though. There was so much more on the line for Mallet and the Hogs then.

Greg Houser: I’m not sure Arkansas gets treated unfairly any more than of the other “non-Blue Bloods.” There are several examples out there. Rick Neuheisel had one while at Colorado, Nebraska vs Missouri, and obviously ours against Florida in 2009. Refs make mistakes, but I am curious as to why they didn’t take more time to get the call right once it went to review. Most refs do this for love of the game, but we ought to consider a greater punishment when they’ve been given the time and the ability to correct human errors on the field. I’m just glad we are relevant and that the whole state cares enough again!

Ole Miss at Arkansas
Todd Rudisill: The Hogs are 2-1. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. This is the game where the Hogs have to convert on 3rd downs better. You can’t go 3-and-out either and expect to have any chance in this game. The Black Bears’ offense is for real. They are second in the nation in total offense only behind UCF. Their running game is 2nd in the SEC. Now on the other side, they have no defense. We need healthy Hogs. If the Hogs can get Boyd and Burks back, this offense will go up a level after looking much better in the second half last week against Auburn. Trelon Smith has filled in very well for Boyd. Can you imagine them as a 1-2 punch? Kiffin said this week Ole Miss has positive COVID cases, but would not give out a number. We probably won’t know until game time who is out for them. Either way, expect a shootout. Hogs on the Hill win in a thriller. 37-34.

Sean Casey: My first question is whether this game happens at all. Ole Miss has reported positive COVID cases on their team, although the numbers are not known at this time. If Ole Miss comes into town they’ll show up with a potent offense, great QB play, and an ability to score almost every possession. While Ole Miss’s offense has done well, they have an impotent defense, at best. Arkansas enters the game hungover from a heartbreaking loss at Auburn and still can’t seem to do anything right on special teams. The Hogs will move the ball and score but won’t keep up with the Ole Miss offense. Hogs fall 51-45.

Greg Houser: Ole Piss comes into town and I don’t doubt the “Lane Train” is as good as advertised. Our D will perform well. Our O line will continue to grow (maybe not enough this year). Felipe and company will manufacture points. The only way we win is our special teams becomes “special” and we get two turnovers with points. Ole Piss wins by 10.

#3 Georgia at #2 Alabama
Todd Rudisill: Saban tested positive for COVID Wednesday. He ran practice virtually. Will there be a giant screen of him on the Alabama sideline pacing back and forth in his den on the sideline coaching his Tide? I can totally see it happening. Instead of throwing his headphones he could throw very expensive vases across the room on each bad call. If there is one team that is playing defense in the SEC this year it is the Georgia Bulldogs. But Georgia has not seen an offense yet like the Tide. The Bulldogs have played the Hogs, Auburn, and Tennessee. Arkansas and the Vols gave UGA everything they wanted for a half. Bama will give it to them for 4 quarters. It will be a brawl, but eventually Bama pulls it out. Alabama 34-27

Sean Casey: Saban has COVID so he won’t be coaching Bama Saturday. How does Bama perform without their pint-sized bundle of joy on the sideline? Both teams are good, and deserve their ranking. Georgia’s defense makes a crucial stop late in the game to get the win. UGA 31 Bama 28

LSU at #10 Florida
Greg Houser: LSU vs Florida should be the easiest draw for the weekend. Assuming COVID doesn’t play a role, Mullen mops the floor with the Bayou Bengals. Coach O better reign his assistants in or look for better ones next year.

Kentucky at #18 Tennessee
Sean Casey: I’ve not seen either team play this season, and I’m not starting this weekend. Tenner has been competitive this year and they’re at home, whatever a home field advantage is worth these days. The Vols win ugly, 27-21.

#15 Auburn at South Carolina
Todd Rudisill: The ‘Cocks and Tigers have not played since 2014. Auburn’s offense looks like it has had a shot of Chad Morris. Carolina’s defense has been decent and they are controlling the time of possession averaging 34 minutes a game. Bo Nix has not come close the looking like the Nix we saw last year. Expect a lot of defense in this one and quite a few field goals. Carolina and Auburn have only played 12 times. South Carolina’s last win? 1933. They get their second one Saturday. Gamecocks 27-24

Greg Houser: AU and South Cackalacka is a hard one for me. I loved how SC had that first game with Tenner but let it go in the end. I have no desire to call for Auburn, so I’ll say SC finds a way to stay in front, 21-17. And for any AU fans that might read this, please enjoy Chud Morris. The only ill will we harbor is his inability to know how to run a power 5 program. Our annual meetings will give us plenty of fuel for the next few years.

#11 Texas A&M at Mississippi State
Sean Casey: This game presents some interesting matchups. Jimbo Fisher vs Mike Leach. Maroon team vs maroon team. Obnoxious fan base vs obnoxious fan base. Texas A&M looked good last weekend against Florida. The Aggie QB Mond has come into his own and played well. State’s offense hasn’t looked good except that first game against a weak LSU defense. The Aggies pull out the win on the road. aTm 35, State 24

Editor’s note: Now in its ninth year, Tusk to Tail is the sport of tailgating as organized, performed and perfected by a group of Hog fans who have been tailgating together sober and otherwise for more than a decade. The primary focus of Tusk to Tail will be to follow the Hogs through the fans’ perspective with their insightful, irreverent, smart-alecky and sometimes practical style. The diehards may also be followed on their Facebook page. Or follow the crew on Twitter and Instagram, all @TuskToTail.

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