1. Scoreless Fourth: Arkansas spent two weeks working on its fourth quarter flaws after suffering a 35-28 overtime loss to Texas A&M. The struggles – at least on offense – didn’t end in the 14-13 loss to Alabama in Razorback Stadium last Saturday.

1. Scoreless Fourth: Arkansas spent two weeks working on its fourth quarter flaws after suffering a 35-28 overtime loss to Texas A&M. The struggles – at least on offense – didn’t end in the 14-13 loss to Alabama in Razorback Stadium last Saturday.


Arkansas was scoreless in the fourth quarter against a Southeastern Conference opponent for the third time this season. Auburn, Texas A&M and Alabama have now outscored the Razorbacks 38-0 in the fourth quarter and overtime.


"I saw drives that didn’t get going, drives that stalled out," Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said Monday. "It’s kind of been a continuing theme for us, unfortunately, in SEC play and it’s something I really began to hone in and be aware of last week and tried to make certain adjustments. But it’s something I’ve challenged our offensive staff with, and our players. Obviously, the biggest failure for us overall is to not put points on the board in the fourth quarter and to win close games."


The Razorbacks could manage only 35 yards on 16 plays against the Crimson Tide, struggling to move the ball with the game on the line. Arkansas had four possessions, but went three-plays-and-out twice, was stuffed on fourth down on its third chance and quarterback Brandon Allen threw an interception at the end.


"That’s where most of our mental mistakes are coming," Allen said. "We have a lot of mental errors in the fourth quarter and you can’t do that if you want to win games. It’s up to us just to polish things off and going into the fourth quarter and staying mentally sharp and doing things we’ve been doing the whole game."


The fourth-quarter struggles in SEC games go back to last season, when the Hogs also lost late leads against Mississippi State and LSU. In all, Arkansas has been outscored 62-0 in the fourth quarter and overtime of its past five conference games dating back to the 2013 season. The Hogs led in the fourth quarter of each one.


But tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. said the issues aren’t limited to one theme.


"It’s a myriad of different things that have popped up for us," Lunney said. "I think whatever it has been, whatever it should have been or could have been, when we play a good fourth quarter and we win, that’ll be our answer. So we’re working towards that and hopefully it will come sooner than later."


Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman said the ongoing struggles are frustrating for everyone involved. But he added the coaching will attempt another tactic when the fourth quarter arrives against Georgia on Saturday.


"We’re going to coach them in the fourth quarter like we did in the first three and see if that will help," Pittman said. "I think that we’ve become a little tighter with the players and I think they’ve become tighter when we do. So we’re going to coach them to go out there and have fun just like they did in the first, second and third quarters. We just need to be more upbeat and more positive with them at that point.


"If you play three quarters of ball a lot of things have gone right and some things have gone wrong and you’ve got to flush it. We’re going to start the fourth like we start the beginning of a game and see if that will help us. I bet it will."


2. Slive Reaction: SEC commissioner Mike Slive announced his plans retire on July 31, 2015, wrapping up a 13-year tenure with the conference. The announcement — which also came with Slive’s revelation he was beginning treatment for a recurrence of prostate cancer — generated plenty of response across college football Tuesday.


"I believe the legacy Mike Slive has built is unparalleled in collegiate athletics," Bielema said in a statement, which he posted to his Twitter page. "The vision and wisdom he provided made the SEC the strongest league in the nation and played a part in my decision to come to the University of Arkansas. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him both professionally and personally. He is a born leader who has proven once again success in life is a choice and earned every day. I wish him the very best as he focuses on his recovery."


Slive replaced Roy Kramer as SEC commissioner and has been one of the most powerful figures on college athletics. The SEC has won seven Bowl Championship Series national titles in football under his watch and 67 total championships in 15 sports since his arrival in 2002. Slive will continue to serve as a consultant to the SEC for four years after his retirement.


"I want to extend the best wishes of all of those in the Razorback Nation to Commissioner Slive as he begins treatment for prostate cancer," Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said. "Mike is an extraordinary person and under his leadership the Southeastern Conference has not only enjoyed unprecedented success, but has positively impacted the lives of thousands of student-athletes. We look forward to continuing to work alongside Commissioner Slive and his staff throughout his tenure with the SEC. But most importantly, we wish Mike, his wife Liz, his daughter Anna, and the entire Slive family the very best in the days, months and years to come."


3. Protection Correction: Arkansas had allowed only nine sacks through its first 17 games under Bielema.


But Alabama got to Allen four times last Saturday. Pittman said two of them came on naked bootleg plays, but the total isn’t acceptable. He said Arkansas must improve, too, against a Georgia defense that has plenty of speed and athleticism.


"They can run you down from behind," Pittman said. "They’re not quite as big as the people we’ve played lately. But yet, they’re very athletic. They move a little bit more than what Alabama did. Quite a bit more than ‘Bama did, or we anticipate that they’re going to because of their athleticism. We’re going to have to do a better job of protecting than what we did last week. We have our work cut out for us."


4. Extra Points


• Running backs coach Joel Thomas said it hurt to see junior Kody Walker fumble the ball at the goal line in the first quarter of the Alabama loss: "That one rips your heart out for what could have been with the game and obviously the work he has put in to get to the point he is at," Thomas said. "You feel for the kid but at the same time we are all accountable for what our job is on the field and he knows we have got to make that play next time and he will. I have got no doubt about that."


• Pittman said center Frank Ragnow, who missed Saturday’s game with a concussion, practiced Tuesday and should be available for the Georgia game. The freshman had been splitting snaps at the position with starter Mitch Smothers this season. Smothers played the entire Alabama game.


• Thomas said sophomore Korliss Marshall was "slowed down" during Tuesday’s practice because of the thigh bruise he suffered against Alabama. But Thomas said Marshall will "get ready to go as we get going." Marshall was limited to two carries against the Crimson Tide and has rushed for 116 yards this season.


— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau