Q for the Analytics Gurus

I felt strongly that we needed to go for the 4th and goal play.

Get it and we take the lead and put pressure on Mizzou playing from behind.

Don’t get it and they start at the one, we’re still only down one score, and likely get the ball in good field position.

Seems to me the risk/reward was heavily weighted towards trying to get the lead.


PS My biggest disappointment this season with Pittman has been decision making in critical moments like the 4th and goal today. Several come to mind - Liberty failed fourth down near midfield, LSU failed 4th down at midfield that led to their game winning touchdown, etc


Arkansas has been bad in those goal-to-go situations all year. I’m sure that, plus the 12-plus minutes remaining, played a role in the decision.

When you can’t get 2 stinking yards in 3 plays what makes you believe you can do it in 1 play.
That cost the hogs a ball
Game early in the year going for it. I’d like to see some motion and pass to the edge some how. Briles wasted a ply in the red zone with a cute play with Knox.


We’d been stuffed 3 straight plays. The FG put us within a FG of winning. Unfortunately, the D couldn’t get a stop & our O-line couldn’t do anything, either.

Sam is a hero if the Hogs win. Goat now.

Neuheisel said he went for a TD in similar situation when Sam kicked the FG and and he lost while at Colorado.

You’re betting a veteran QB and offense can get you a few more points. He played the odds.

There was no guarantee they would score a TD.

I get it, but if you are betting on your veteran QB to win the game why not bet on him one yard away from taking the lead?

If you don’t get then still only down one score and Mizzou backed up at the one.


I also am in favor of playing aggressively

RD, I really like coach Sam and hope he retires here. The plain facts are he nor the oc or dc have done very good jobs this year. To me at least no improvement has been made all season!

We should have scored with 1st and 10 from the 2. With KJ and Rocket just run it off tackle 4 times. Surely, we could have done that.

We should have gone for it. You are right, Jackson.

Wasn’t it from the three? What are the percentages of two-point conversions?

Split the difference - it was the two.

Not with the play calling of Briles

Fine. Basically a two-point conv. What’s the percentages?

I would rather depend on my offense there than my defense. Key player on team Arkansas is KJ. Mizzou had good approach to prevent KJ running. Oline had rough outing as well.

It was first and goal from the two after the PI in the end zone.

Sam was asked about it. He said he opted for the field goal because they hadn’t gained one yard in three plays from that spot.


Our red zone offense is the same as our base offense until we cause the safeties to respect the pass - a stacked box.

Our greatest offensive weakness this year was TE. We did not have a road grader who was also a pass-catching option. Bax is the road grader, but is not fast or known for his hands. Henry never panned out, often being hurt. he was not a road grader (neither was his older brother until he was challenged to become that late in his career). Knox is a plus receiver, and a good blocker in space. He is outmanned much of the time at the end of the LOS. All three are gone, unless a Covid year is invoked (we can hope for Knox to return?).

You bring in the extra OL in a heavy package and the defense only packs in more. You spread the field hoping to pull a defender out of the box. As we saw in the 2nd half tonight, the OL’s strength is not 5 trying to block 4 smaller, athletic DL. We never stretched the field, save the Landers TD. The zone early was replaced with man and the challenge to go over the top. We never could.

The OL, all year and last year as well, was most effective when we were able to do something wide with WRs or downfield, even 6-8 yards. Something that would freeze the safeties or force them to stay deep as the option mesh was read by KJ. Once they react at safety our offense is good, and only shuts down when we give them reason to think we aren’t going to pass wide or deep.

My guess is that Rocket was dinged up after so many carries last week. Odd that Green didn’t carry (?) or carry much, but he was not going to move the pile any better than Rocket.

Three dropped passes, two at least were quite catchable. That saps the respect of the other team, for sure. (See safety comment above). Even 4-5 yards loosens things up.

Depth is still the #1 issue, finding guys who can substitute in and not lose much productivity at any position but RB and LB. (DEs are pretty similar, but not necessarily elite players). Do we have 40 players who are SEC caliber? We have more than a year ago, but that number has to grow. Portal will help; every recruiting class helps.

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Here is my analytics:

On the goal line it’s usually about tackles and tight ends. Can you seal the edge and prevent penetration from the outside? Can you protect against six or seven? Can you get to the edge?

As coach Broyles told me in ‘75 quoting General Neyland (who I had never heard of) it’s about the team with the best tackles.

In Neyland’s day, they played both ways and could dominate the full 60 minutes.

In today’s game, it’s the OTs and DEs. The DE is a modern day DT in every way. It’s the position that determines who has the trump card for the day.

Arkansas is competitive now in many ways but not dominant at OT and DE. That is tough to overcome.

But as far as being competitive, Arkansas was not three years ago. That would have been a major step for all of us had we announced that as a goal the day Morris was fired.

The first year was 4 SEC wins in my eyes. Outplayed and defeated Auburn but the ref yesterday (who I hate so much I want type his name) took it away.

Won four last year. They were in seven this year and also won at BYU, a small accomplishment.

The Alabama game was just competitive for about one quarter.

I understand the safety issues with Catalon and Slusher non factors. Lots of other injuries there. Thought Bishop would help. McAdoo was a find but he whiffed on the game’s last TD in an iso play he’s been making.

Dominick and Jackson were assets in pass rush but lacked physicality. Jackson needs a spring. He will improve there.

Strength program needs a reset. In fact I always think that’s not a bad idea.

Strength training is a constant battle of finding new ways to do old things and make it exciting to get buy in.

There are good young linemen on offense. Highly rated. They will be the ones who benefit the most with that reset.

I will be excited to see what that plan becomes to add strength. I know talent is the key. Adding strength to talent wins.

I felt for Hudson Clark and Simeon Blair. They are not ultra talented. They lack some speed and size. They were asked to play in the box as the extra men against spread teams. They were outrun and over powered a lot the last three to five games. But they made some plays too in what was a job no one else seemed equipped to do from an assignment aspect.

Again, this is a situation that is doable. The program is not in a horrible spot.

No one understands the difficulty of the schedule. I’ve never seen anything close. Cincy, BYU, Liberty and even Missouri State were not softies. MSU was the perfect storm that somehow worked out despite a patchwork secondary.

I am going back to my fly tying desk to churn out midges for the next two weeks. So you guys continue to grumble. Probably should have tied ruby midges the last 15 minutes.


I thought taking the FG, though NOT the result I wanted after a first and goal inside the 5, was the right call.

What I DID have a problem with was the play-calling prior to the FG. It was clear in the post-game presser that Sam wasn’t very happy with that sequence either. Of course, the biggest problem was - simply - that we could not impose our will from that spot on the field and get in with a couple of straight-at-them running plays. Obviously, we couldn’t and our coaches knew it. That’s at least one of the reasons (if there are others, I don’t know?) why we’re looking for a new Strength Coach today.

Nice call on strength change. Knowledge and experience are priceless for insights provided. Thanks for reminding me of this. Your insights will continue to be missed but tying flies is good alternative.