State of the Hogs: Protecting Austin Allen

Here’s a front-page column after Wednesday’s visit with the coaches: … provement/

I don’t envy the staff now. Three linemen with bad wheels trying to protect a QB with a bad wheel too. I would blitz and stunt the heck out of our guards if I was the opposing coach right now because Arkansas goes as A Allen goes. I am surprised Zach Rodgers is not at center but it says they cannot afford three rookies in center of line. Season will depend on health of O line and future of program on finding some more road graders to fill in. Neither Storey or Kelly strike me as very mobile and more of pocket passer. Medical staff better get some ice and Advil lined up.

Would not have three rookies in the middle if Rogers were center. Ragnow would be at guard.

This makes way too much sense to happen

You are correct if Frank R was at guard , but it tells me they have more concerns protecting middle pass rush and need to get a push for run game in the middle. I do not understand Rodgers not at center unless he cannot handle line calls as Ragnow could still make them from guard position.

Maybe stage gets too big for some of these practice warriors when lights come on as we are 2/3’s way through season after a spring and August practice to get it fixed.

We will see what it is when Florida game gets here.

missing…we have some Olinemen, some of whom are JC guys and not true freshmen, but we have guys that according to CBB are not ready but…

we take a kid who is from Norway and (I assume) did not grow up surrounded by and playing American football, who’s limited playing experience is on the DLine…is moved to the OLine and is an immediate starter…IN THE SEC…in the toughest division, in the toughest conference in America. He is ready?

What am I missing?

Good question. How has Frojolte graded out so far?

The times I’ve checked mostly in the 80’s. Physically he does well, it’s the mental part that’s the struggle.

RD, I won’t say that’s completely his issue. This past week against AUB, for example, there was a play in which they walked up to the line. Ragnow pointed out who he was supposed to block, the defense made an adjustment. I saw Skipper tap him and point out a specific defensive player. The LB on Raulerson’s side started cheating up toward the LOS. AA turned around to the RB (I believe it was Whaley) and pointed out that LB. On the snap, the LB started forward, Whaley picked him up, the guy Skipper pointed out stunted and tried to go around Skipper. Both Froholdt and Skipper adjusted and hit the DT and DE. The other LB hesitated then came on a delayed blitz. Everyone picked up their guy. AA had the LB (and unfortunately the ball). The LB came right through the hole that was made by the stunt. I can’t blame any guy, especially Froholdt and Skipper for picking up the stunt. I just think it was a very good play call by AUB, well executed, and it worked to perfection. I think we were just plain out coached.

I’m sure that there were missed assignments and mental breakdowns, but I don’t know how much of those breakdowns (I’m sure Froholdt got the blame for the sack above) isn’t the product of our coaches being out coached.

surprised we don’t go to the shotgun more often and buy some time for AA.

Cantrell needs to be full time TE to black use Sprinks (the transformer) more as a WR type

I should have seen this coming before the season, but I drink too much koolaid…
-having to move a dlineman to the offense as a starter
-losing Kirkland
-plugging in a transfer right away
-JC guys didn’t crack the lineup

Not an ideal situation.
And now with injuries to these guys we will be fortunate to finish 7-5 unless someone pleasantly surprises us


We have to have plays that take advantage of these delayed blitz tactics. If you don’t attack them where they’re abandoning their position, they can do it with impunity. Arkansas’s approach has been twofold:

Spread out and go to the boundaries.

Reduce the number of receivers, increase the number of blockers.

Neither one puts a runner or receiver behind the guys who are blitzing. Increasing the number of blockers encourages them to send more people not less. Reminds me of watching offenses get swamped by the 46 defense in the past. The only way to beat it is make it impossible for three or four people to cover the passing threat. When opponents respond to the pressure by keeping more people in to block, they’re playing into the defense’s hands.

Right now, opponents have discovered that they are rewarded for overloading the front. The running game doesn’t work, because the backfield is overrun by defenders behind the LOS. The passing game doesn’t work, because too many plays have their timing thrown off.

One of the things I kept asking myself during the game was where is the quick slant. When they were bringing blitzes, or delayed blitzes, I was literally screaming at the TV for AA to hit Hatcher, Cornelius, or Morgan on the slant. Those holes were there, that maybe where CBB said AA was holding the ball too long. Maybe he didn’t notice the blitz formations and read the quick slant. Still, his first year, maybe a good learning point.

Agree. I don’t have any stats to back it up, but it sure seems like we are completing the “slants” at about an 80% plus rate. It’s been a mystery to me why we don’t run them more than we do since it’s been so successful. Both Hatcher and Cornelius are very good on the slats. Maybe Enos is thinking if he runs slants more than 2 or 3 times a game, that the opponents will adjust?

I made this reply on another post, but thought it also applies here:

FWIW: I’ve been looking at this Oline deficiency of ours and wondering why CBB doesn’t have this dominant offensive line we are accustomed to his teams having. Bielema has even stated “We probably should have taken more interior offensive linemen.” Let’s take a look at that. When you take the type of recruits that we are able to sign here at Arkansas, they must be developed and are generally at their best in years 4 & 5, which means redshirting and developing in great numbers. Below is the breakdown of Offensive lineman on the roster:

Freshman - 3
Redshirt Freshman - 3
Sophomores - 6
Junior - from JC - 2
Junior - transfer - 1
Junior - 1
Senior - 1

That means we have two upperclassmen that have been in Bielema’s system that are here and playing. We may be in the same boat again next year. In two years those Sophomores are Seniors and the Freshman are Juniors making 12 upperclassmen as offensive linemen who have been in Bielema/Enos(hopefully he’s still here) system.

The key is that we must continue to recruit and develop in great numbers each year. Tom Osborne used to do this at Nebraska - Danny Ford did this at Clemson and was doing it at Arkansas (HDN got to reap the benefits of Danny Ford’s hard work there). So, has Bielema made a great error in not recruiting more offensive linemen? YES, and he admitted as much. I believe he has learned his lesson there. Let’s hope that we still recruit more solidly on the defensive side of things, as well. But, this post is already too long so we’ll save that for another post…

You nailed it…