I’ve gone back and watched both games. Briles has called some brilliant plays that simply weren’t executed, particularly screens. It looks like we should be averaging 20+ yards per screen. Unfortunately, three drops and one missed block has that average around 2 yards per screen.

We keep getting an 6 man boxes but poor reads by Franks negates the advantage we have. He is poor reading the zone option and ok at reading the RPO. Unfortunately, teams can afford to commit and extra safety to stop the RPO because they’re successful stopping the run with 6 men in the box. Pittman is getting the boxes he wants but the players aren’t executing. I hope they spend a great deal of time practicing the zone read this week.

Also, this offense is playing sloppy particularly on the perimeter. The receivers and TEs need to have more precise routes and get to their blocks. It was better the second week but still not good. Franks is also having trouble identifying his “read key” when they play with tempo. As well as the defense has played and how poorly the offense has executed, I think its a mistake to continue to try and play with super fast tempo…maybe just play fast so the kids have and extra second to identify blocks, reads, and coverages. I think we’ll continue to get better but need to see more improvement than we did last week to beat Auburn…it will be a close one. Go HOGS!!!


A very interesting list of observations. Have you coached football?
I enjoyed reading your post and I appreciate how you broke it down
into understandable chunks. You and Clay could probably talk for
hours. Football is a beautiful game with its in-depth mix of physicality,
intellect, and emotions.

I saw almost no blocks executed on the screens. That’s where quickness – or lack of quick feet – in the O-line shows up. If a defensive linemen dips inside just a hair, it’s a whiff. You are in space in a screen. I saw blocks get blown up on the perimeter when the reads were perfect on the WR outside screen. There were 2 against 1 on one of those and 3 against 2 on another. One block and it’s a big play. Quickness on defense sometimes negates the right reads and makes it tough to block. You execute better, or you stop calling the plays. I’ve always known coaches to eliminate those that they can’t consistently block. So that Briles has called them suggests that they have seen them run effectively in practice against what I think is a good defense.

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Schemes are schemes, but executation is the key. I can write a game plan and if the guys on the field execcute things well, we win. If not, we lose.

It’s really hard for me to get my arms around our offense during game 2, The early losses of Boyd and Burks were huge against MSU, Our 2 best weapons got to watch most of the game from the sidelines. Hard for the offense to function efficiently without them; and the truth is Franks is a new QB in this system. I’m still sort of stunned we won that game; that was a loss any game the last 8 seasons.

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Lucky to win with Boyd and Burkes on the sideline for sure! Throw in all the negative plays on offense with the east and west play calling! Poor clock management at the end having players run out of bounds on passing plays also the bone head penalty on Woods.
The defense just made a stand and wanted to win.
The Auburn game is crap shoot. Anything can happen especially with a wet pig skin. If our defense can get the walking wounded back on the field I like our chances. It needs to be a ugly game.

I got blasted here (and other places) when I posted my grades for the Georgia game and gave Franks a D. Yes - we were playing a very good defense, but I was focused on his execution and I was less than impressed.

Now, Sam made a very good point a day or two later, pointing out that Franks was spending a lot of time trying to get the team lined up correctly that he SHOULD have been able to use to look over the defense prior to the snap. So, I was hoping for a better performance by all - the team lining up correctly and then Franks executing better. It was a mixed bag.

What I continue to see is that if the first read is available, Franks does pretty well (given enough time). But when has to come off of that, he seems to get a lost look in his eye and sometimes freezes a bit. There were 4 or 5 times I was yelling at the TV screen for him to “throw the bleeping ball away NOW”…sometimes he “listened” to me, but sometimes he did not. I’m just not sold on his decision making…and that’s a BIG part of a QB being successful.

Still - he is new in this offense, new with these teammates and they didn’t get any spring practice. So, there is a reasonable expectation that he will improve with reps. Problem is, we just have him for 10 games.

He’s a mediocre quarterback. If given the right environment he can steer you to a win. He’s not good enough to go get a win though. He’s not a difference maker.

But he’s better than what we’ve trotted out the past few years

In our current situation, with our current players available, he was a difference maker Saturday night. We proved that we could win a game with our defense playing great and with our 2 best offensive players out for 3 quarters. In your wildest dreams do you believe we would have won that game without Franks at qb last night.

I get what you are saying. He’s not Murray, he’s not Mayfield, and certainly not Burrows. But for this Razorback team, at this current time, in this specific year, he’s a difference maker for us. If, God forbid, he gets a season ending injury next game, would you expect us to win the same number of games (if any) without him as with him?

I, for one, am really glad Sam brought him in as a grad transfer. He’s a leader and his teammates and coaches seem to love him, as do I.


I am glad we have him. Been some time since we had a QB. We would have lost without him. He is not playing behind a quality (improved for sure) Oline. That will give a QB the yips.

Having him as a leader is a very important piece of the puzzle. I’m not sure that there has been much leadership at the position in the last few years, certainly not last year when there was no consistent starter.

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