Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas-Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.
Penalties hurt Hogs in loss
Rutgers tight end Tyler Kroft celebrates with teammate Leonte Carroo in front of Arkansas defender Eric Bennett after scoring a touchdown in the 2nd quarter of Saturday's game against Rutgers at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, N.J.
For the better part of three quarters Saturday, Arkansas played the type of game needed to win on the road.
The Razorbacks didn't turn the ball over and forced three turnovers, including one returned for a score. Arkansas' play-calling, while conservative, did include a mixture of some trick plays, including a 24-yard pass from punter Sam Irwin-Hill to long snapper Alan D'Appollonio, a touchdown pass from halfback Jonathan Williams to Hunter Henry and a run by Alex Collins out of the Wildcat formation.
But untimely penalties stuck out to Bielema after the game. The Razorbacks committed six penalties in all, totaling 66 yards.
"Our penalty yards were absolutely insane," said Bielema, whose Wisconsin teams were among the least-penalized teams in college football. "That's just something that needs to be eliminated. We cannot win football games - you will not win a football game you're supposed to (win) - creating penalty yardage like we did and that's just all on me."
Arkansas aided a Rutgers scoring drive with one of the miscues. Jarrett Lake's late hit out of bounds nullified a 15-yard sack by Chris Smith one play earlier in the second quarter, allowing Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova to throw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Kroft 39 seconds before halftime.
"All the little things count," said defensive end Trey Flowers, who had a sack and forced a fumble that led to an Arkansas touchdown. "Those penalties, they can bite you in the end, as you saw. Just being disciplined is one of our goals on defense and offense as a team. We failed to be disciplined and it cost us."