Clay’s piece on the lingering issues is right down central.
In my view, the defensive scheme was faulty, giving too many players assignments that they could not handle. I bet a lot of these players will look pretty good in a sound scheme. The defensive coordinator needs to be aligned with his whole staff, and my understanding is that wasn’t true.
Also, it seems very appropriate to focus on the limitations of the running game / run blocking and how they kept Arkansas from being able to play ball-control with a lead. The offense is loaded with passing game skill, but it is not designed to be a pass-first system. Or the pass protection would be much different.
Arkansas must ensure that its quarterback avoids turnovers much better next season. A big part of that will be keeping the offense out of so many long-yardage situations.
I like Clay’s article. I feel that our offense will be improved. How much…dunno. However, I have real doubts about the defense. Every post that I read, indicates a lack of talent and speed. I hope the red shirts and recruits are the answer.
Nevertheless, it seems we tried play-action on third and long all year, and it only served to slow down our RB’s approach to the line/hole and gave the DL and LB even more time to find him. Very frustrating. Why go under center on third and long so often?
i havent checked our stats fr the yr on passing 1st down but if I had to guess we ran way more than passed and tha’t’s fine when you can win the LOS but IMO against the better defenses they were “attacking” our run game because they knew we were going to run,
I have always thought you cant be predictable becasue the defenses will be on their toes ready to aggressively attack the LOS which is why you see negative yds play and no gains.
The key IMO is to make the defenses “react” to what you are doing because it makes them keep their weight on their heels because they are not sure what you are going to do…The only way to do this is pass on 1st down and break your tendency.
I would also like to see us speed up our run game handoffs because IMO we are too slow in attacking the LOS(and I know we leading rusher in the SEC),I would love to see the QB just turn to one side and have the RB be full speed attacking the LOS and get the ball from him…our are almost mini draws in that their is too much tike before the RB gets the ball
anyway thats my 2 cents…have a blessed day eveyone,
If star-gazing is any sort of predictor, I would say that we have some young studs on the defensive line that should make an impact. Guidry didn’t even play this year, and he was very highly touted. Sosa will be much better. And I think we have our starting NG in a 3-4 right here. He was a 4-star kid, and we all sang hosanna’s when he signed. I think a 3-4 suits him well. I’m talking about good ole Bijon Jackson, ranked anywhere between 4,5,or 6th best d-lineman in the nation coming out of high school. I could be wrong, but I see him flourishing next year. With Sosa on one side…and probably Tevin on the other. Or maybe someone else!
I’m not worried about the front. I continue to worry about safeties. I’m excited about a new scheme with more speed on the field.
I don’t claim any knowledge, but have wondered if we widen our splits a bit, if it might help create a little more room to run? It seems to me our formation is often very tight. I suspect wider splits may better suit quicker o- linemen, so that may answer the question. Just curious.
Ray is an advocate of more narrow splits that what we had last year. He said that allowed for blitzers to have easier lanes. So now we have someone wanting narrower splits. This is beyond my expertise. Were they wider this year under Anderson? That seems to be what most thought. I am not sure and will talk to coaches and players about that.
Most defenses are taught to line up according to how the OL lines up. So if the OL has wide splits, the DL will line up accordingly. As it probably should; if the DL takes narrow splits and the OL is wide, you should be able to run outside all day.
I’m reminded of a story from my high school days. A popular high school offense in Arkansas in the mid-70s was a wide-split full T, which people were copying off Chick Austin at Hot Springs Lakeside. One of the teams that copied it was Cabot, which then was a AA school (and a darn good one, they won their first 11 games in '76 before we beat them in the state semifinals at WMS). A high school friend of mine who played OL was in a college frat with a guy who played at Cabot. He asked the Cabot guy what they would have done if a defense had ignored their wide splits and lined up conventionally. He said the OL would have closed down their splits. Cabot didn’t have the speed to run outside; their wide splits gave them creases between the tackles. But we shut them down, and won 7-6 thanks to a missed extra point and a short field after a Cabot fumble. (We didn’t run the wide-split T; we copied the Veer that JFB was running on the Hill in '75-'76).
The old issue of how wide to make your splits is a tough one to figure. You make the splits too wide, there are nice lanes to blitz and stunt. Too wide and two defenders might come through that gap. Sometimes you see how far they’ll go with you on splits. You find out, not too far. The wider the splits, the quicker the offensive linemen must be to be able to step and reach the rushing defensive linemen. I do remember Arkansas going toe to toe under Mike Markuson when he had linemen like Zac Tubbs, massive, but not real quick.