I think A&M is a lot better than many credit. Yes, the Hogs had their chances for a W, and maybe should have done it; still racking up more than 40 points on the road was solid for the O.
Against NMS, virtually no yards rushing for the Aggies; just stout. You can give up a lot of passing yards, if they can’t run it in.
Richardson is back on D. I really like Curl. TEs are starting to get involved. WRs are producing. AA (hated by many) still threw for over 70% against the Aggies. Most importantly, a solid rushing performance by the Hogs against the Aggies…that says good things about the OLine’s progress since TCU.
The only disagreement I have with you is that the Texas A&M game was on the road. Several people consider that a road game for Arkansas, but there seem to be more Razorbacks than Aggies there most years. It looked like that was the case a couple of weeks ago.
I think one of the biggest issues for me - we need to “improve” our assessment of TCU and A&M. What if TCU runs the table? A&M could be the #2 team in the SEC West before it is all said and done.
It will be exciting to see just how much growth Paul Rhoads can squeeze from the defense in “year one” of the 3-4. He seems handicapped by safeties and nose tackle talent but has done a brilliant job of scheming to the strengths at DE, CB, and LB. I am genuinely excited about where those three positions will be next year.
Too many fans forget how slowly Petrino’s offense started most years. Teams were selling out with run blitzes hoping to knock the QB silly, clog the line of scrimmage, and keep WRs from getting into their routes for gashing completions. Eventually, the complexity of the system - a true run/pass dual-threat system - became manageable for the players. Enos has that same tendency, we just fail to credit him like we did Bobby. It explains the capacity for great first halves when defenses are left scrambling to account for new looks and unexpected plays.
I would love to see us shed one more RS for an OL and see if Wagner can make a push at OT. I think he is closer to contributing that most realize. Of course, there is value in waiting a year. Maybe we can juggle the existing bodies and keep AA off his backside and open some holes. There is growth already, I think, and once past Bama and Auburn we should be able to score against everyone.
You make some great points. I think the Defense is about what I expected even though I hoped for better. We have not seen a game where our defense blitzed much at all, so it will be interesting to see how it performs.
We have seen this over and over again and this is the 3rd season of it. The Hogs and Dan Enos score and score again, and the defense just can’t stop the pass or the run. That is why not many have any confidence when we go on the road against a mediocre, at best, South Carolina team.
The offensive line is not strong, but we have good skilled people from the quarterback, the running backs and the young receivers. We are pretty strong there and will score enough points to beat most teams. The defense is another matter, however. Playing soft and giving up yard after yard and score after score is not fun for the players or the fans. Shoring up the defense and the special teams is a must if we want to have a decent season in the SEC. Decent, to me, is 3-4 SEC wins.
Missouri last year blow an early lead
Bell Bowl VA Tech blow and early lead
Those two losses should have been wins
Then there are all the games aginst A&M where we find a way to blow leads! Being able to stop the opponent has been the problem.
There has been an improvement of run defense. The pass defense has went the opposite direction and it the lack of pass rush. You can’t cover receivers all day long.
The Oline is better than last year. This week we should see them play better. The chewing in the A&M game needs to be given every time they come off the field. Coaching and teaching has to continue after every play, possession and game.
We were spoiled by good Oline play for several years. Pulling a redshirt and playing one of the freshmen is a good idea let’s see if the coaches do it.