Arkansas needed to address its depth at CB in the 2017 class and they’ve secured commits from two (maybe three) corners in the last two weeks. I thought that was worth taking a look at amidst of the flurry of June commits.
I think it’s pivotal that the CB needs are being addressed early. This tells me that the offers given to them were commitable. knowing our staff’s strength in evaluating recruits. I feel like they chose to offer these CBs because they thought highly of their potentials.
I’m very excited to see the growth of these recruits once they have been groomed to play SEC ball.
Our Corners were not capable of playing press coverage to minimze cushion for the quick passing teams. Our CB’s were giving a lot of cushion so the slant routes and quick passes were there all the time. The quick passes didn’t give our DLine time to get to the QB even if they were all stars.
I think Richard is entirely correct. There were also some inexplicable defensive “experiments” in the Fall and early in the season. Like moving Ellis to the WLB spot when he’s a natural MLB and one of the best we’ve ever had. The defense looked very different at the end of the year and was much better.
First four games - 72% completion, 1,056 yards, 9.1 yards per pass attempt
Next four - 63% completion, 1,128 yards, 7.6 yards per pass attempt
Next four - 63% completion, 1,230 yards, 8.4 yards per pass attempt
Of course Arkansas did better against Missouri (disaster at QB position) and Kansas State (poor passer).
A week before Missouri, Zak Prescott put 508 yards and five touchdowns on us. That was Nov. 21. Even the mediocre LSU QB hit us for 271 yards. The two weeks before those were Ole Miss (368 passing yards) and Tennessee-Martin (380 passing yards).
Arkansas’s pass defense was very predictable through the season.
Run-oriented or balanced offenses: 56% completion, 6.6 yards per attempt, 5 TDs / 6 INTs
Spread passing offenses: 74% completion, 10.3 yards per attempt, 13 TDs / 5 INTs
There was no linear improvement as you suggest. It was completely determined by the style of the opposing offense. Our plan for defending against spread passing offenses was a disaster.
I feel that the cushion our corners used has to be replaced with some press coverage. The spread QB’s want to get rid of the ball before the pass rush makes any play. Our cushion allowed them to get rid of the ball instantly.
Watching the Hogs last year I am forced to wonder if the loss of Randy Shannon was the difference on our defense. I like Rob Smith as much as anyone. But something has to give. The defense was terrible. Now that we have a secondary coach that we KNOW is competent there’s no excuse to give up those kind of passing numbers. I am NOT a big fan of Berts. Frankly I think he’s in way over his head in this league. BUT he is doing a nice job of realizing needs and filling them with regards to his assistant coaches. A great head coach like Petrino doesn’t have to depend on great assistant coaches. But thats just the way it is. We have settled in on the ceo approach to coaching. Our O-line needs were not being met and I think Bert lucked into his guy getting hired away. Hopefully Anderson will do a better job at recruiting so we don’t get left short like it appears we could be this year.
Also we got an ace running back recruiter. Once again we were failing in that department. A team that runs the ball as much as we do shouldn’t be in the position of relying on freshmen or redshirt freshmen. But we are and at least Bert brought in a new guy. Hopefully he will not drop the ball. As this article points out we have started looking to our needs at CB and in our last class , hopefully at least, we finally looked to our needs at LB. The problem with depending so heavily on assistants is if you loose a guy like Enos you are going to be in big trouble. He’s no Petrino but at least he isn’t afraid to air it out when the defense is stacking the box. And as much as I dislike Bert I have to give him credit for letting his coaches do their jobs without interfering. Now if he can only learn clock management and get a handle on in game adjustments… One can hope. Oh I left out get a special teams coach. Maybe we can block long enough to kick a field goal ? Or kick the ball off into the end zone ? Thats another area we never had to worry about under Bobby.
Oh thanks Richard for all the work you do for the team and the fans.
We’ll have to disagree on Petrino. Great coach, but horrible recruiter. He never talked to Dorial Green-Beckham in Dec and Jan. He hated recruiting. He was hands off when it came to his players. Parents need to know the HC is looking out for their son’s wellbeing.
He’ll never win a NC because of that and his reputation. Kids and parents talk and recruits listen. Some of the best recruiters are your players and when recruits were on-campus at Arkansas the players were upfront with the recruits.
I loved Petrino at one time, but he screwed that up. Petrino is a low quality person and nasty coach with a good offensive mind. He won here for a while until his recruiting caught up with him and his ethics unraveled for everyone to see. He is a divisive subject and one that isn’t good period. I do hope that we can limit the disrespectful crap towards Bielema from Petrino fans.
Ellis is a real good player that suffered from an experiment at WLB last year. He really stands out in a drought of LB’s, but he is the best we’ve had in a while. Greenlaw is another real good player at WLB that should be much better this year. I think it is safe to say that LB play will improve pass coverage, but the biggest impact will be from Corners that play press coverage at the line.