It's a theme that could be written and new names just be inserted almost each time Arkansas plays an SEC team.
The game is close for a half and then Arkansas seems to fade away in the second half. Why? If the coaches knew the answer to that it's a certainty they would fix it.
There's many theories on why it happens, but all that's just speculation and guesses. The truth is it's not as simple as just one thing. It's a combination of things and not the same each game.
However, on Saturday there was some quotes that came out of the Arkansas interview room that should bother anyone involved with the program. Here's one from inside linebacker De'Jon Harris, who led the team with 12 tackles.
"We did not come out with the same effort in the second half and that's the type of results you will get," Harris said.
That is disturbing because Harris definitely hits on a sore subject there that has been evident at times. There is no excuse for not playing with a 100-percent effort at all times. You can't do anything about the other team having more talent, but you can definitely not let them outwork you. That is completely inexcusable.
The truth is Harris onto something. Junior safety Santos Ramirez also talked about similar things when asked what he thought happened in the second half.
"Honestly man, I can’t really… I’m not in every guy’s head," Ramirez said. "I don’t know what’s going on in every guy’s head, but I see guys coming in and it kind of worries me when guys are laughing and everything like that. That worries me at halftime because we have to keep that same fire. I saw it at halftime when I was in the locker room. I saw it leave a little bit.
"I feel like guys didn’t expect us to be in the game like that. When we were, it did get them excited, but you have to see what the main focus is. The main focus is getting that boot and winning that game, playing for 60 minutes, man. That’s what the game of football is about, playing for the whole game until the clock hits zero no matter what. I feel like we came out, gave up that touchdown and from that point on, it just shows."
Those are players saying that not some disgruntled fans on Twitter or a message board. Arkansas (4-6, 1-5) is coming back to Reynolds Razorback Stadium for the final two games of the 2017 regular season. The Razorbacks were picked by the media covering the SEC to finish fourth in the West. Instead they are at the bottom of the standings just as they were in Bielema's first year.
One of Bielema's favorite things is to say they are close. With a talented Mississippi State team and then a revived Missouri squad rolling into Fayetteville on Saturday and Black Friday now is the time to stop being close and actually arrive. Fans, or better known as the outside world, are growing restless with Bielema. He talked about that on Wednesday on the SEC Teleconference when asked about not having success at Arkansas like he did at Wisconsin.
"There is similarities," Bielema said. "I left Wisconsin as a championship team that had an APR that was one of the best in the country. When I got here our APR was really, really low and I knew that to get to where we needed to be we needed to build up respect on and off the field. We've done that academically, now we've just got to hold the same standard on the field. Unfortunately it takes a little time.
"This year's been a difficult year. A lot of things factor into it. But the people here in the program and the people that are near and dear I think understand where we're going, what we've done and how we can get there and the aspects to make that happen. The outside world doesn't. I get it. It's a microwave world. Everybody wants things now. So that part is real. But I've enjoyed every minute. As a head coach, keep doing the same things every day. You always modify and adjust."
Some would argue that fans expecting things to be better in the fifth year of a regime isn't exactly microwave. A fair question might be if it's not happening in Year 5 when is it going to happen?
The SEC did them no favor by scheduling the bye week after the second game of the season. LSU was the eighth game in a row and that number will grow to 10 when Missouri gets here.
While that and the injuries Arkansas has suffered can test any team. But going back to the effort part, Arkansas had similar collapses against Missouri and Virginia Tech last season.
The bottom line is to avoid finishing 4-8 Arkansas will need to play its very football of the season the next two weeks. Arkansas and Mississippi State will kickoff at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday and televised on CBS.