Pushing Fantasy

In the last couple of weeks Bo on his show has pushed the notion that this years’ running game is not as good last season. With several guests he has looked for support for that and in some cases has found it. In general it has been stated as fact as recently as Tuesday.
However, the statistics do not support that. Through five games last season the Hogs rushed for 1,020 yards and 8 TDs. This season with a totally rebuilt and still learning offensive line the rushing totals are 985 yards and 9 TDs. A 35 yard difference with one more rushing TD. In reality the rushing game is just as good as last season and with a line that is just starting to jell.
The RBs are also said to be not as good as last season and do not have break away speed. Yet we just saw Whaley take one to the house and we have seen Williams breakaway numerous times this season and last. Just because it does not end up in the end zone every time does not mean they are not showing break away speed. Again, false information stated as fact.
This is similar to this week’s negative push that Arkansas really is not as good as its number 16 ranking. Two days ago Bo was speculating that to his eyes they were not that good. Clay defended that they indeed were that good and had to fight off an attempt by the host to dismiss it. Tuesday Bo indicated to a guest that many people were questioning whether the Hogs were really #16 worthy when in fact it was really him that was pushing the notion and trying hard to find people to agree with him.
This negative spin on issues, by someone who openly states that he is not a fan, does this 2016 Hogs team a dis-service considering it has had to rebuild its line, add a new QB, RB and FB, deal with the loss of the best TE in the college game and rebuild the confidence of a defense that was passed to death at times last season. That is quite an order.
This team is 4-1 with a big road win at TCU. It played A&M to a draw for three quarters and has gotten better each week, except for one quarter.
While I do not think the media should be a cheerleader for the local team I do think it has the obligation to present the facts and see things as they actually are by researching their subject matter and actually being knowledgeable on what they speak. This “I just have a sense that…” or the Trump-like “People are saying…” type of reporting is not really reporting at all. It is the same as the small odd group of regular callers for which Bo so loves to play ringmaster. They say what comes off the top of their heads as facts when it is really just “thinken and spewing”.
Clay is very patient with what he puts up with on the show where there appears to be attempts to make a respected journalist a clown that has to play second fiddle and whose opinions are treated as uninformed. “Oh there goes the crazy old man ranting again! Ha ha ha. Not cool like us younger guys.” Sorry Ringmaster, the opposite is actually the truth and the facts back it up.

I agree with much of this, but lets take a look at yards per attempt. IMO that is a much better indicator of the the running game.

So far this year, 4.8 yards per rush. Last year through 5 games. 5.1. You are correct, pretty similar. I wonder why that narrative is out there?

I wonder if lost yardage in sacks could be a hidden number?

I would think lost yardage in sacks is the reason yards per carry is down. The run game was weak to start last year but improved. That’s partly to do with the schedule. I believe the schedule is weaker to end this season, too.

The offensive line didn’t seem to play well early last season. It improved as the year went on. That should happen again if it avoids major injuries.

As far as Bo’s show, there are times when I tell him he’s just wrong and disagree with vigor. That does not mean he should change his opinion. There are days when we definitely take opposite views and that is healthy debate and probably good radio.

Arkansas’s rushing game is significantly poorer than it was through five games last season. If you cannot see it, you know nothing or are deliberately denying it.

The first five games of this season included two opponents much weaker than anyone in the first five of 2015. Yet the Hogs’ stats from tailbacks are far behind. Please don’t carry on this silly dancing around the facts and expect everyone to play along.

The run defense was pretty good the first half of last season. Toledo, for instance, finished top 10 nationally. Not a lot of people realize that. And Arkansas didn’t play a team like Alcorn in the first five games last year to pad the stats.

I don’t think the Razorbacks’ run game is as good this year. It may improve, but so far it hasn’t been at the level we expect. The 10 plays inside the 2 vs. Texas A&M proved that.

The only way to gauge the two seasons accurately will be at the end of the year.

Bingo!

That is what keeps this season from eclipsing last season. BA was rarely sack the last two season while AA lost plenty of yards against A&M. So this year would really be a larger total. And if Denver Kirkland had returned some of those goal line stops would have been scores. So you could make this argument this years running game is more productive running back wise, just not O-line wise.

Oh okay. :o

To me, the best barometer of the Hogs rushing ability has been the game with TAMU. The Hogs rushed for 120 yards on 40 carries against TAMU; 3.0 yards per carry against the nation’s #45 rushing defense and 5th in the SEC.

According to Sagarin, Texas State and Alcorn are ranked as the nation’s #156 and 226 teams. Through 5 games, the Hogs have really played against a cream puff schedule. That’s why Sagarin has the Hogs as #31, not #16.

I don’t think two of our games tell us very much about anything. We have really played La.Tech (if you want to consider them a real team is up for debate), TCU and A&M.

Against La.Tech, we had 40 rushes for 106 yards, 2.7 average.

Against TCU, we had 43 rushes for 180 yards, 4.2 average.

Against A&M, we had 40 rushes for 120 yards, 3.0 average. Almost half of our 120 yards came on R. Williams 55 yard run. We had 19 out of 40 rushes that resulted in no gain or a loss. Aside from the 55 yard run, we averaged less than 1.7 yards per attempt.

We were out-rushed by TCU, who had 195 yards on 32 attempts, for 6.1 average. We were out rushed by A&M who had 366 yards by a 3-1 margin.

Two spread teams had more rushing yards and higher per attempt average in head to head play this year.

I’m really not sure how you conclude we have an adequate rushing game this year. It is certainly nothing worthy of falling on a sword to defend.

The running game is not as good as last year, yet. Our offensive line is not as good, and we lost Alex Collins. When we get Whaley into the mix with Williams and as the offensive line gets a little better, it will be good enough. We need to rely on our passing game this year. We have the talent to make it go. I hope Coach Bielema will let Coach Enos utilize the talents we do have and not be stubborn about running the ball if we can’t do it against some teams.

The offense is pretty danged good. It is the defense that is just not a lot better than last year, so far. The defense and special teams are the areas of major concern, I think. If these 2 areas round into form soon…we will be real good.

Get real. The offense scored 21 points against Louisiana Tech, 21 in regulation against TCU, and 24 against the Aggies.

The only impressive numbers came against Texas State and Alcorn State.

Chad Kelly hurt the Tide pretty bad. He passed for 421 yards and three touchdowns. Kelly also was Ole Miss’s primary rushing threat. Excluding sacks, he ran 11 times, 6 yards per carry. The other backs averaged 3 yards per carry. Arkansas will do well to get 3 yards per rush against the Tide.

Alabama gave up four first downs by run against the Rebels, 17 by pass. To have any chance in this game, Arkansas is going to have to play against its tendencies. I believe that includes using as much speed as the Hogs can get onto the football field, trusting freshmen much more than usual, instead of leaning on the most experienced players and hoping for the best. Hope won’t go far in this game.

New line coach and few new lineman to break in has held this running game back

Will it get better yes but so does the competition

Hoping Enos comes out mixing it up early

You wanna have a shot against Bama you better convert in red zone Hedlunds gotta break out of his slump if called on and you better punch it in from inside the 5 unlike a&m

Hurst needs to be on his back as often as possible and contained to keep us in striking distance

Amazing how people see what they want to see.

Against the Aggies, Austin Allen was sacked … one time for minus 5 and lost one fumble. He was hit repeatedly, but only the one sack. Plenty of yards? Not hardly.

It is true that AA has been sacked more than BA was last year. Through five games, BA had been sacked three times; AA has been sacked seven times for -47 (average 9.4 sack yards per game). Part of that, though, is AA standing in there trying to make a play instead of throwing it to Grandma. The pass blocking, though, has clearly not been quite as good, nor has the run blocking.

If you look at median yards per rush, rushing first downs, or a rushing play histogram, this year’s running game isn’t nearly as good as last year’s - which in turn was less effective than 2014’s. And this is true despite the fact that Arkansas’s five-game schedule to date included two pushovers.