Can we fix what killed us against MO and VA Tech?

And I’m not sure I know what this is other than mainly improving D dramatically and will throw in O line as well.

Got to have a solid year this year.

I think turnovers are what hurt Arkansas most in those two games, in particular interceptions.

Austin Allen threw two interceptions in the red zone against Missouri and was responsible for three of the four turnovers against Virginia Tech, which gave the Hokies starting field position at the Arkansas 5, 8, 30 and 44.

Allen was interception prone, which isn’t uncommon for a first-year starter. I think you’ll see that stat lower this year.

While the defense obviously needs improvement, this is why I didn’t blame them for the loss to VaTech. You can’t give a good team that kind of field position and expect to keep them out of the end zone. Once, maybe; perhaps, twice. But three and four times, highly unlikely. The defense definitely had its issues, but once those turnovers happened, the dam broke and momentum was completely on VaTech’s sideline.

The Missouri game was a combination of the defense not stopping anything and the offense not finishing a couple of drives. The culprit in those drives were penalties and turnovers. Those are fixable. But the root of the turnovers and penalties was lack of protection or the inability to block the run. I thought the inability to block the run was at the root of the offensive problems, too. If you can’t run it, then you are making it easy on the pass rushers. They come after you without fear of the running game. So, my number one thing that corrects the issues is the ability to run the ball. That’s what has to be fixed. If you can run it, the play-action pass gets to be a lot of fun and protection is hardly an issue.

Though stated many times before, it warrants repeating… The Hogs identity begins and ends with their OL. It gives them something other teams must respect, it helps keep our defense fresh (and off the field) and it opens up a passing game that Dan Enos has developed into an excellent compliment in our balanced offensive approach.

Last year’s worst performances came when we were unable to control the game (and clock) with our OL… and the best performances were when we could block effectively and protect AA.

OL’s require seasoned players more so than any other group. Last year we had “unseasoned” players in 3 of the 5 positions and our depth was just not what you’d want in the SEC. While I expect our OL to be improved in '17, they will still be rather young as only the center and LG positions will have a starter with at least a full yr of starting experience. Hopefully having more players back that got some starting experience last year will help us develop this group to be a strength for us again in 2017.

Don’t take this to mean I think our defense was not an issue. I just think realistically, we’ll need our D to make strides AND we’ll need our offense to help keep them off the field the way CBB has done with his OLs over the years. Go Hogs!

Makes a lot of sense. We have to have dramatic improvement in O line and D. Got to have it his year. Got to start having high expectations and need a good year this season.

I think the O-line will be better. I don’t know what to think of defense just yet. Some of what they are doing looks good. I do know that you have to move. You can’t sit still. I think that’s what they were doing on defense last year – too much. Sitting still is only good when you can blow someone up in the front. I don’t see anyone doing that on this defense. Better move and attack.

The thing that bothered me about the defense last year, is they seldom showed any intensity. You need to show it every play. That makes good things happen.

It seems like Paul Rhoads is well liked by the players. That seems to be something he’s worked hard to get, is more life to the play of the defense. I think the idea that they are going to blitz and stunt has helped the morale. The players didn’t like sitting still. They don’t want to be vanilla. I don’t think they will be. I’m not saying they will be a blitzing machine. I think you’ll just see different combinations in the pass rush that make it harder for the blockers to know how to deploy. Defensive players sense that is going to help them.

Now, I will say that when you are giving up touchdowns in record numbers and can’t stop the run, it can demoralize players. That seemed to be what was happening last year. And, eventually it looks like – and is – a lack of passion.