FAYETTEVILLE — Starting Sunday NCAA Division 1 football teams could send up to six coaches on the road for this recruiting contact period.
For Arkansas, the coaches not traveling this will supervise developmental practices for the seldom-used reserves and those redshirting during this season which for the Razorbacks will conclude in a bowl game whose identity, time and place will be learned next Sunday.
As for those who played during the 28-24 loss to Missouri last Saturday in Columbia, Mo. closing Arkansas’ regular season at 7-5 overall and 3-5 in the SEC, Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema isn’t ready for them quite yet to move on losing a 24-7 halftime lead to the only SEC team the Razorbacks were favored to beat.
“First we obviously have to take this film and own it as coaches and players,” Bielema said on his Razorbacks Radio Network postgame interview in Columbia. “Give our guys a better position to win football games. The worst thing we can do is leave this here. We have to carry it home with us. We have to own it. We do have another opportunity obviously to play in a bowl game. We’ll have a lot of good work with our young players. There is actually a live recruiting period starting on Sunday. And we will get going on recruits. But we have to take this opportunity and maximize this as a learning opportunity the best way possible.”
Bielema has coached Arkansas since 2013, arriving after from 2006-2012 coaching Wisconsin teams fabled for wearing teams out in the second half and being physically overpowering on the goal-line.
In Columbia, Mizzou repeatedly denied Arkansas in the red zone and and obviously dominated the second half scoreboard, 21-0.
“Our guys are hurting and they should,” Bielema said during last Saturday’s postgame. “We have to learn from this, for this day to move forward. There is no doubt in my in that our guys will own it, embrace it, and make the best of a bad situation.”
For now, it seems Bielema won’t be finished with this loss to Missouri until he sees his Razorbacks finish an opponent.
“What I believe in is finishing,” Bielema said in Columbia. Finishing the season, finishing the game, finishing the drive, finishing the series, and finishing the play. And we weren’t able to do that today and that’s really frustrating.”
Sophomore running back Rawleigh Williams said Bielema cut to the chase on what transpired.
““We gave that game away,” was Bielema’s message, Williams said. “We had it. It is a four quarter game and we didn’t play four quarters. “We gave the game away. It is going to hurt for awhile.“
Other than when in a bowl game, the Razorbacks play two trophy games per season.
They annually play for the Golden Boot against the LSU Tigers and the Battle Line Rivalry Trophy against the Missouri Tigers.
In 2015 the Razorbacks won the Golden Boot in Baton Rouge, La. and the Battle Line trophy in Fayetteville.
This season both are bereft from the Arkansas trophy case.
“It’s awfully tough to lose that trophy,” Arkansas junior safety Josh Liddell said post Mizzou. “We have to come back harder. So next year we will be ready, ready to fight for it and bring it back home. For me personally, this is the most disappointing loss of my career. It’s tough. We will look at the film, well be ready for the bowl game.“