Clay's top 10 keys for Alabama game

http://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2016 … bama-game/

A few I would like to add:

Arkansas has to find ways to get Sprinkle downfield without losing too much pass protection. Against A&M he was tied up too often plugging holes in the dike. The Hogs need Sprinkle to be a threat who forces the linebackers to keep up with him. If Sprinkle gets some big plays, he might open the running game almost by himself.

Some play-calling luck would help. That is, if Arkansas’s defensive game plan happened to correctly guess where Lane Kiffin plans to go. This is the stage - with a rookie QB - where there can be a difference between what they want/need to run + what they are able to execute well. I’m thinking that the best outcome would be forcing Hurts to throw accurate passes under time pressure.

The whole receiving corps needs to rise to the challenge. Is Hatcher ready to go full speed? If not, how about the others? The entire group has dealt with significant injuries over the past year. Drew Morgan doesn’t look like the 2015 version. Dominique Reed has been a non-factor. To win this game or even make it close, Arkansas needs great performances from more than one pass-catcher.

I have this feeling, too, that freshmen such as Whaley and Hammonds could make a big difference in this game if given the chance. They could be used creatively in an effort to manufacture big plays. The Tide gave up a lot of big plays against Ole Miss. The Hogs need to test those sore spots.

Be interesting to see how many times the Hogs try that “Bubble” screen to the wideouts Saturday :sunglasses:

I’ll agree with this statement, but not in the way you intend. Morgan had 22 catches through five games last year. This year he has 28 catches. He’s playing better than he did last year.

Watching the Bama-Ole Miss game, my thought was that their DBs were having major trouble with the OM passing game, especially Engram. We need to get Sprinkle involved early and often.

Morgan has plenty of chances because he’s a preferred target, but he is not getting the big gains he produced last season. I can’t tell you whether he lost something after he had to recover from surgery, judge for yourself. But he is not producing the yards per catch or the TDs. This is not a judgment, just a statement of numbers.

Yards after catch are normally the result of catching the ball while the receiver is moving in space. If receptions are made at the boundary or as the result of button hooks, the play normally ends right there.

As a norm, our QB has not had time to set his feet; that’s what’s needed to hit a receiver on the fly. It’s actually amazing that AA still leads the conference in passing percentage.

If they try too much Bama will take one to the house

Last year, Alabama forced Arkansas to give up on the run. All the first down runs produced little and led to punts. The Hogs ran 21 times for 58 yards, with a long gain of 8, and 12 carries that gained 2 or fewer years. It was futile.

This won’t be a game in which the Hogs can sustain many drives, so they have to put together a few good ones and limit the damage on the rest. Even against the Aggies, Williams got loose for a 55-yarder. Those chances must be converted into points this time.

Arkansas had a pretty good read on the Alabama offense in the past two seasons. The Hogs’ offense has to score when the defense comes up with good field position.

Randy, yards after catch is often on the QB’s shoulders. AA sometimes throws a ball that is catchable, but the receiver has to stop, or dive, or go to his knees, to make the catch. Whereas if he hit the receiver in stride, much better opportunity for YAC. I recall one goal line play, I think it was against A&M. AA rolled out and tossed to Cantrell, I think, who didn’t have any Aggie within five yards of him. Cantrell went to the ground to make the catch at about the 5. Watching the play at the time, I thought Cantrell could have made the catch standing up and walked into the end zone, but maybe it’s a case of the ball being just a tad lower than it needed to be. Six inches higher and the band starts playing.

No no no, Swine! Band cannot play. Other team is much better in talent and depth and we peter out in the second and fourth quarters. No music from the band. This is a fact subscribed to by many readers.

We beat ourselves. We have as much talent as any team on our schedule. Our conditioning program excels over others.

Dead horse, dead horse.

Morgan leads the conference in catches for first down with 18. He’s had tighter coverage than last year. It does seem that the man in space this year who is targeted is Keon Hatcher. I still think Drew is breaking tackles. One thing I’m interested to see is how Bama’s safeties play. Do they have to play the run at all? Do they blitz. I do remember seeing blitzes two years ago that Brandon Allen picked up to the point that they did not blitz in the lat 20 minutes of the game. They just played straight in the secondary and did not give any gifts because Brandon could and did pick them up. Can Austin pick up the blitz and go with the ball where the man came? That’s how you stop the blitz. I expect there to be linebacker blitzes. But I am curious as to whether Saban commits to sending safeties? That’s his favorite blitz, but if the QB can beat it, that goes away.

TCU I think