Jim Harris: Fat Bellies, Razorback Recruiting & Liberty Bowl


Call it the Arkyana Hog Podcast hosted by Jim Harris.

Louisiana natives, former Razorback football players and current Little Rock residents Mike Shepherd and Rick David give blunt, honest assessments of the Hogs, the season, recruiting without Sam Pittman and the game against Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl.

Here’s what they’re saying in the press about the Liberty Bowl:

From Kevin Haskin of the Topeka Capital-Journal

During the postgame handshake, then afterward in postgame remarks, coaches keep it friendly and credit opponents.

That made some of the blunt criticism aimed earlier this season at Bret Bielema so surprising. The affable Arkansas coach was ripped after a home loss to Texas Tech by his counterpart, Kliff Kingsbury.

Kingsbury blasted Bielema for being disrespectful to Texas high school coaches, a fraternity that includes Kingsbury’s father. Apparently, some comments Bielema made about Texas high schools largely to spread offenses infuriated Kingsbury, who took delight in the Red Raiders’ 35-24 upset of the Razorbacks.

“I was surprised (by the comments), but it’s part of the game,’’ Arkansas safety Rohan Gaines said during preparations in Memphis for a matchup against Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl on Saturday.

“It’s going to happen sometimes, emotions start flying and things get said that you really don’t mean. I thought it was funny. It definitely fired us up. We obviously couldn’t do anything about Texas Tech, but it fired us up for the rest of the season.’’

To know Bielema is to realize such comments will draw his own response, but do not stick, or sting, too harshly.

“It was kind of funny,’’ said linebacker Brooks Ellis, who chuckled and seemed eager to elaborate before catching himself.

“I don’t want to get into that,’’ Ellis said.

Fair enough.

What is obviously evident as the Liberty Bowl draws closer is the affinity Bielema has shared regarding his counterpart, Bill Snyder of Kansas State.

During a press conference earlier this month in Memphis, Bielema grew emotional when speaking of Snyder’s influence.

“He loves the guy,’’ Ellis said.

Bielema was an assistant for the Wildcats for two seasons, leaving for Wisconsin after serving as co-defensive coordinator for K-State’s Big 12 championship run in 2003.

“He most definitely respects him in everything he does,’’ Arkansas defensive tackle JaMichael Winston said. “When we found out we would play Kansas State, he harped on how much he respect this guy, how much he learned from this guy and how much this game means to him.’’ …

* * *

From the KState Collegian

Allen may be good, and at times he has put up numbers we’ve seen out of quarterbacks like Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield or Baylor’s Seth Russell, but he has done it in a much more workmanlike way.

“It may not be the high flying, fast paced show that the Big 12 always sees but we’re an offense that’s tough to stop when we’re rolling,” Allen said.

That statement has proven itself true multiple times this season as Allen has racked up 29 touchdowns through the air and only seven interceptions over the past 12 games.

The 29 passing touchdowns are the most in the SEC, an Arkansas record, and is first in the Razorback record books with 63 career touchdown passes through his four season.

“I certainly think that through the last six games of the season, (Allen’s) been one of the best quarterbacks in the country,” Arkansas offensive coordinator Dan Enos said. …

liberty bowl hogs


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