My thoughts on the game....subtitled WE WON THE GAME!

I have a few points to make. But the first I want to make is a refutation of the claim “we called off the dogs” and got conservative once up 38-13. To make my point I actually went back and thanks to fast forward charted every offensive possession from 7:08 left. Yes, I could have just used the play chart.
Play chart
But, in order to strengthen my opinion, I wanted to see the plays unfold again.

38-13 with 7:08 left in 3rd Q:
1st &10 - 3 wide drop back, Kj hits Green on check down
2nd &4 - 4 wide, on back, KJ makes wrong read on Read option (inverted veer).
Personal foul on #14…thus
3rd and 22 - drop back, check down to Bax. Another flag, Illegal formation. Declined.

Score: 38-20
1st &10 - 4 wide 1 back. Read option.
2nd & 10 3 wide 1 back, Check off to off tackle. Stuffed.
3rd down - drop back, pass to Landers broken up
(This was worst possession of the half)

Score: 38-23
1st &10 - 2 back set, KJ fake toss, runs for 11. 1st down
1st&10 - Read option, Green 7 yards
2nd &3 - “New” offset I look that we used, KJ misreads option and leaves with Green. he or Dub might still be running if he keeps it. No Gain
3rd & 3 - Read option with a wheel route, KJ hits Dub for BIG gain down to Kansas 24. PENALTY. PASS INTERFERENCE ON WILSON. (Huge play and momentum swing. We probably get points if this stands).
3rd & 17 - KJ drop back, check down to Henry, to 40

After a Kansas 3 and out

1st & 10 - Dub nice run, 5 yards
2nd & 5 - Read option, KJ keeps for 4
3rd and 1 - Kansas has literally 10 in the box (we are bunched in too, and Briles runs that sneaky direct snap to Dub with KJ and Landers (lined up at TB) faking the speed option. It doesn’t work. Punt

8:23 left in game.

Defense gets a stop AGAIN.

1st & 10 - 3:52 left in game - Green for 4 yards
2nd & 6 - Green 3 yards on read option carry
3rd and 3 - DEEP PASS to Landers to Kansas 29. 3:32 left. Gutsy call. BP lovers probably went into a near hysterical euphoric state on this call. Game should be over now,

1st &10 - Read option, E Harris, who played a great game for a 3rd string freshman, gets whipped. 3 yard loss.
2nd &13 - Play of the game. Reverse to Landers. Good gain. 1st down yardage, Fumble non-fumble. Kansas runs it back deep in our territory. VAR decision…wait…this is tackle football…“Replay booth” decides to uphold call on field in one of the worst calls I have seen.

Y’all know the rest. Kansas scores. Get’s the onside. Scores again. We win in OT thank God.
Now, I am not some sort of Briles defender. He deserves criticism when it’s warranted just like everyone else. But how anyone can look at the plays called once we were up 38-13 and decide that we “called off the dogs” or “got conservative” is beyond me. Briles continued to call the game in the same manner he had when we built the big lead. The fact of the matter is that two big penalties derailed drives that took us deep into Kansas territory–drives that would have in all likelihood resulted in TD’s or FG’s. But, nothing on those drives. We try a trick play on 3rd and short that doesn’t work. Argue the play call…but a trick play on 3rd and short doesn’t qualify as “conservative”. “Cute”? Probably. We throw deep (successfully) on 3rd and short, and run a reverse for a big gain…both on our final possession. We all know the ground caused Landers’ fumble…but that is what it is. None of that qualifies as conservative. Unless you want to be a 60 pass a game team.

All in all, I for one AM FINE with the playcalling once we were up 38-13. There were some read option misreads. But as Clay said, that is part of the deal when you run our scheme.

Other thoughts:
–Briles’ scheme is a read option, run alot on first down to set up play-action or just throw off the read option scheme. It is what it is. I like it. If you as a fan want a drop back, throw alot on first down team to watch, I suggest you go watch Tom Brady, or several other NFL teams. (Though the read option is very much in the NFL now…)
–Y’all…we had 681 yards total offense. SIX EIGHTY ONE. And some are griping about the offense? Man. Hey Pitt…better shoot for 800 yards per game bro. Otherwise people are gonna gripe.
–We gave up over 600 yards, and 544 in passing. As usual, our secondary got burned. ESPECIALLY late in the game. But we all knew our secondary is the weakness of the team. Not a shocker. Pitt has straight up admitted we need to be better in the back half. Plus, we were missing Slusher (now driving fancy cars at UL if his twitter post is to be believed)…and some portal folks. We had little to no depth back there. We did get two picks. But as the game wore on, we were worn out.
–The shocker to me was that we held Kansas to 13 as long as we did. I honestly thought yesterday would be a 2020 Ole Miss-Hog type game. From the first possession.
–I think that given Ricky has moved on, and we were playing E. Harris at RG, the O-line played fine. We ran the ball for 406 yards. 406!!! Without Rocket! With Rocket, you can bet some runs would have been busted for bigger gains. Green and Dub played well! But they don’t have Rocket’s vision.
–The d-line played well. We STUFFED their running game. And without some late-in-the-game flukes, the defensive priority of stuffing their run game would have resulted in a more clear cut win.
–Our young WR’s played WELL. Anyone recall a drop? I don’t recall a single drop. Period. Add our freshman TE to that. Big TD Washington!
–Our LB’ers show we have a bright future at that position. With more on the way. Pooh played an awesome game. Crook and Woodward played well too. I thought Woodward mad one of the plays of the game.
–I don’t think the targeting call was accurate…but it was a less than smart play by McAdoo (who otherwise player really well). Don’t duck your head dude. Don’t duck your head, we win right there.
–Some of the big Kansas passing TD’s were not so much “our db’s stink” as much as Kansas exploited our 5 in the back end scheme…which isn’t new…but something we didn’t run predominately this season. We let some guys run wide open.
–We do need an upgrade at safety. Not a shocker.
–Also…y’all…Kansas QB is a stud. So there is that.
–Speaking of studs, both KJ and Rocket should be preseason first team all-SEC next year. If they are not, I have an issue.
–I am very happy Domineck is coming back. I think he has a great year next year.

All in all, I am allowing myself to BE HAPPY we won the game yesterday. We WON. THE. GAME. Pitt was completely correct when he pointed out that once we went into OT, things didn’t look good if you think about what usually happens. But our kids showed so much character.

Which makes me optimistic about the future. I cannot prove this, but I suspect most of the portal entries were not bemoaned by Pittman. He flat out said the lockerroom was better now. I think losing Knox and Cat hurt and probably was a disappointment to the staff. Cat and Trey aren’t good kids. They are a GREAT kids. (Unless there is something that has never been reported. I don’t know either kid…just have always been super impressed with both). But other than that I think we will be JUST FINE roster wise next year. The schedule is tough, as usual. I think Pittman will, over time, prove to be the best recruiting HC since Broyles. Even better than Houston, who was underrated as a recruited IMO.

If we can avoid major injuries, which we most certainly did NOT this year, I think we are back to a 9 win or more season next year. That’s my prediction right now. And, we will have a quality back-up QB!

So with that, Merry Christmas to all! Its not over! There are 12 days! And a very Happy New Year!


Speaking of play-calling, and SIAP in another thread:

On the last play, with the game on the line, why would Kansas take the ball out of the hands of their fantastic QB and ask a WR to throw it? If I was a KU fan I’d be pretty irked. Could you see Briles making such a call?


That was a back-up QB lined up as a receiver. Kansas runs a number of packages with two QBs on the field and that was one.

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I think it’s because the hogs got caught a few times looking into the backfield and leaving their man wide open behind the secondary. They didn’t take the bait this time. I think Kansas expected the defense to come after the runner. They overthought the play and for once, the hogs stayed with their man.

Yes I can. I asked in another thread if Briles made that call. No way our seconardy was going to stop that QB. I would want the same guy who had brought me back to have the ball in his hands when it counted. KU fans have a real question on that one. Yes, a Briles like call

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So it would have been like if – a few weeks ago – we had run the same play with MH throwing the ball into the stands?

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Let’s be thankful he threw it. Looked to me like he probably could have run it in.

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I thought Arkansas’ defenders had the angle to stop him if he ran. He had a tight end wide open underneath but elected for the more difficult, contested throw.

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They’re gonna gripe anyway. Or criticize the offensive line.


What about the first 8 minutes of the 3rd quarter?

The reason I said we got conservative is 90% of the time we ran on 1st and 2nd down right into a 8-9 man box which was basically impossible to block.we let the defense dictate down and distance and we were put in tough situations to convert.

The only 2 times we did something different was on the reverse for a great gain and the nice jump ball he threw to Landers outside of that everything was inside which I was fine with when they only had 6 in the box but to keep running into that stacked LOS was killing the offensive flow we had built up and made our defense have to stay on the field way to much…

We got back to opening it up in OT and they never came close to stopping us.Why didn’t we play action on 1st down and throw down the middle when they were clearly expecting us to run the ball??

We get caught up into running the ball because it runs clock but also makes it very easy for the defense to know what we’re doing so they are attacking us, rather than running something to get them to react to it, and possibly making a big play and scoring a TD which is far better than running clock.
I am glad we won but am not a fan of always running the ball on 1st and 2nd down especially when they have 8-9 in the box,just wasted downs IMO.
We did win the game and I am super pumped at how well Harris played!! looked great! and has a bright future and am very excited at how well our young receivers played… That will give them great confidence when called upon next yr…
I loved that we finally went to a 4 man front and totally stuffed their run game…Great Job!!Go Hogs WPS


“What about the first 8 minutes of the 3rd quarter?”

C’mon man. Go read the playchart. Or rewatch the game. In the first 8 minutes of the 3rd quarter, Kansas started with the ball. They made one first down, Then were forced to punt. We then took the ball and drove down to score.

Arkansas drive starts at 11:59
1-10 ARK20 No Huddle-Shotgun #0 A.Green rush left for 5 yards gain to the ARK25 (#4 M.Grant).
2-5 ARK25 No Huddle-Shotgun #1 K.Jefferson rush right for 4 yards gain to the ARK29 (#99 M.Lee; #6 T.Berryhill).
3-1 ARK29 No Huddle-Shotgun #0 A.Green rush right for 2 yards gain to the ARK31 (#7 L.McCaskill), 1ST DOWN. R18
1-10 ARK31 No Huddle-Shotgun #6 R.Dubinion rush middle for 17 yards gain to the ARK48 (#1 K.Logan Jr.), 1ST DOWN. R19
1-10 ARK48 No Huddle-Shotgun #14 B.Stephens rush left for 21 yards gain to the KAN31 (#90 J.Robinson), 1ST DOWN. R20
1-10 KAN31 No Huddle-Shotgun #6 R.Dubinion rush right for 6 yards loss to the KAN37 (#90 J.Robinson).
2-16 KAN37 No Huddle-Shotgun #1 K.Jefferson pass complete deep middle to #13 J.Wilson for 17 yards to the KAN20, End Of Play, 1ST
1-10 KAN20 No Huddle-Shotgun #6 R.Dubinion rush middle for 13 yards gain to the KAN07 (#90 J.Robinson), 1ST DOWN. R22
#90 J.Robinson injured on the play.
1-G KAN07 No Huddle-Shotgun #6 R.Dubinion rush left for 5 yards gain to the KAN02 (#15 C.Young; #5 O.Burroughs), out of bounds.
2-G KAN02 No Huddle-Shotgun #6 R.Dubinion rush right for 2 yards gain to the KAN00 TOUCHDOWN, clock 08:43.
KAN03 #29 C.Little kick attempt good (H: #31 M.Fletcher, LS: #52 J.Oehrlein).

Too conservative? Maybe we should have scored faster? Too slow of a drive?
At that point I chronicled every play above.

We had two bad series in the 2nd half. Other drives were ended with either a personal foul or pass interference penalty…or a fumble non-fumble.

Not sure I agree…but I am glad we don’t have to test either thought.

We scored on our first possession in the 3rd quarter and then started running into stacked box. Went away from the 2 back set that had worked well the whole first half. It was very obvious the strategy at that point was milk the clock. One I disagree with. A strategy that nearly cost us the Ole Miss game and I hoped CSP had learned from based on his comments after that game.

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