A few thoughts from the Tigers’ 34-21 loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday, Oct. 30, in a game televised by ESPN2:
• Considering the Grizzlies were on TV in their season-opener and Game 6 of the World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox was another stay-at-home option, the announced crowd of 22,000-plus was pretty good for a team that brought a 1-5 record into the night.
• The game was both closer than the score would indicate and not as close as the score would indicate. It was closer because the Tigers were still within six points until Cincinnati punched the ball in from 3 yards out with 1:26 to play. But statistically, the Tigers were very much lacking. Cincinnati outgained them in total yards 437 to 232, averaging 5.6 yards per play to 3.8 yards per play for Memphis.
• Although the Tigers had success on fourth down, converting 4-of-5 opportunities, they were woeful on third down and converted just 2-of-12 chances.
• Running back Marqui Warford’s fumble resulted in seven quick points for the Bearcats and put him on the bench. Quarterback Paxton Lynch, who otherwise played a clean game, threw a fourth-quarter pick that also turned into seven points.
The Tigers, now 1-6 and 0-4 in the American Athletic Conference, are not nearly good enough to survive turnovers that become touchdowns.
“That shot us in the foot,” said running back Brandon Hayes, who had a 31-yard rushing TD with several nice moves.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema went public this week when he said the film it received from Auburn in advance of this Saturday’s game wasn’t, let’s say, fully developed.
“The TV copy doesn’t match the film copy,” he said, saying that some shots lack all the proper views of plays. “It’s something we have kind of been aware of now for the last week and half in getting our preparation. So we can use other film and stuff like that to make sure we’re getting the full picture.”
Later, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said of the controversy: “We will always operate with the utmost integrity in everything we do. … The SEC office is aware of all the details on both sides. That is all I am going to say regarding that.”
Bielema may have other problems, though, as a rule in the SEC bylaws stipulates problems with film exchange should be brought to the attention of the SEC office but “not be discussed in the media.”
Best and Worst, SEC: Texas A&M leads in scoring offense with 48 points per game; Arkansas is 14th and last with 20.4 … Alabama is first in scoring defense, at 9.8 points per game; Georgia is last, at 33.3 … Missouri is first in turnover margin, at +12; Arkansas is last, at -6 … Tennessee is the least penalized team with 33 yards per game; Florida is the most with 61 yards per game.