It wasn’t the result head coach Sam Pittman and Arkansas wanted. But the 27-24 loss to LSU on Saturday was still an important step for the Razorbacks. Once again, they were competitive to the point where they had a chance to send the game to overtime in the end.
Unfortunately, a tipped field goal from kicker A.J. Reed late in the fourth quarter came up short — and so did Arkansas’ chance at a victory. It was a tough break for the the Razorbacks, but we have to remind ourselves where this team was at in recent years.
This is a program that went two seasons without a SEC win. With a combined record of 8-28 in the three seasons prior to Pittman’s arrival, this was a bottle-of-the-barrel program. Losses to team’s like North Texas wasn’t unusual.
Now compare that to where Arkansas is at now.
After that loss to LSU, the Razorbacks are 3-5 in 2020. That might not look great to paper, but they’ve been competitive against teams like LSU, Auburn and Texas A&M — some of the top teams in the conference.
Yes, they lost by 27 points against Georgia back in Week 1, but they were competitive for the first half.
The 63-35 loss to Florida last Saturday was a rough look, but this program is lightyears ahead of where it was at even a year ago. Did anyone expect that sort of growth this quickly? Did anyone expect them to be 3-5 in a conference-only season? It is doubtful.
Pittman has this group heading in the right direction. And considering the circumstances (both past and present), that’s all anyone could really ask of them.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.