We didn't get to see the Hogs much during fall practice (one scrimmage), but we did get to listen to Coach Bielema speak, and speak, and speak ,some more. I think the official count was around 70 appearances.
What did we hear during the fall ? Let me go over part of the list.
1. Travis Swanson is the best center in College Football.
2. Fullback Kiero Small is a perfect fit for his offense.
3. Brandon Allen made a huge jump from spring to fall.
4. The offensive line has come a long way since day one.
5. Jonathan Williams will be his "go to " back
6. The freshman, led by Hunter Henry and Alex Collins, are special.
What you see ,or in this case ,what you hear from Coach Bielema, is what you get. He is a straight forward guy, who loves to play good ole American football.
The first play of the Bret Bielema era was no surprise. He took his best back , Jonathan Williams, lined him up behind the guy Coach calls an "angry little man",Kiero Small, and ran to what would be their strong side all day. The result was a 14 yard gain over the right side.
The entire first drive was "Bielema Ball" at it's best. Run, run, run, run, run,run and one more run. The 7 straight runs were followed by 2 complete passes , one run and a touchdown pass to Jevontee Herndon. 11 plays, 75 yards and it took six minutes and 36 seconds.
Brandon Allen was almost perfect. There were no botched snaps or messy handoffs. He made good throws from start to finish . The former Landers Award winner was 15 of 22 for 230 yards and three touchdowns. He did a great job of locating and hitting the open man all game.
The offensive line led by Swanson turned in a dominating performance. At times in the second half, I think Louisiana knew what the Hogs were gonna run, and they couldn't stop it. One drive in the second half , the Hogs ran it 14 straight times. They ended up kicking a field goal, but more importantly , they ran almost 9 minutes off the clock.
Kiero Small displayed all his unique skills in one play. It was a second and eight play from the Lafayette 10 yard line. Brandon Allen hit Small with a short pass in the flat. Small secured the ball with his sure hands, changed direction, and then delivered a brutal blow as he plowed through two defenders into the enzone.
Jonathan Williams had the biggest "wow" play of the game. Louisiana had just scored to get within 13 points of the Hogs at 27-14. Williams took the handoff and headed right, then he put on the brakes and darted left, and 75 yards later , the Hogs were celebrating a 34-14 lead. Williams finished with a game high 151 yards.
Hunter Henry did have a fumble and drop, but "Gronk Junior" also had a team high 5 catches for 75 yards , and he blocked like a Bielema tight end should block.
Alex Collins is a lot of like Henry. They don't look like or act like freshman. Collins was fast and strong for four quarters. 21 carries for 131 yards. Not bad for a true freshman playing in his first game.
Jevontee Herndon filled the role as the Hogs big play receiver Today. Two touchdown catches including a highly contested , one handed grab for a 49 yard score.
Zach Hocker was perfect. The record setting senior from Russellville hit a pair of field goals and sent every kickoff deep in the endzone.
I have yet to look at the official tackle chart, but it felt like Trey Flowers got to know Louisiana quarterback, Terrance Broadway, real well Today.
Football is a bottom line game and the Hog D held a veteran Louisiana offense that was used to scoring in the 30's last year , to only 14 points. Louisiana was only 4 of 12 on third downs against the Hog D.
In the end, the opener was everything Coach Bielema said it would be, and the Hogs are finally 1-0.
Home News Weather Sports Video About Us Newslinks Community Follow Us Fun and Games Blogs KATV/FCC Public File
Employment Contact KATV Credit Application and Advertising Terms and Conditions KATV Programming EEO Report