2 things for sure:
we had historically horrendous defense. Truthfully, I can’t see how it doesn’t improve over the season. I didn’t say it would be great, but better.
improved offensive line is the real key. we will be better overall barring major injuries.
Better? Better than what? Last year? They could be marked improvement and still have a similar record because the competition could be improved. Every prediction is pretty much based on what the opponents have coming back, but that rules out newcomers or redshirts who could have an impact.
Another year of experience and development for the OL.
Austin will have better protection and less ints.
More playmakers at receiver, but definitely less experience. How they develop in the early part of the season will be key.
The TEs same as the OL, but also the addition of Patton is huge.
RBs will be good. Devwah needs to be the workhorse and another 1000 yard rusher. The addition of David Williams is huge. Chase will have a good freshman year and will give the Hogs very good change of pace with his speed and elusiveness.
Defensively, there’s no way the Arkansas D has subpar back-to-back years.
I will take a wait and see approach because I am not sure we can run the ball or stop the run which adds up to suicide against the better teams.
The defense showed that our concern is valid.
I expect a better year for these reasons:
Senior two year starter at QB
More experienced on the OL
More speed and athletic ability at WR…inexperienced yes
Change to 3-4 defense puts more speed in the field
More experienced DL (Agim is ready)
Experienced back end of defense
Lots of speed with defensive newcomers
Lastly…the schedule is favorable
I think it is going to be really hard for some folks not to lose their minds about the defense for the first month of the season, regardless of our record. The chances of just flipping the switch to a new scheme and it being instantly good are pretty low. It’s going to be a gradual process as the players get comfortable with it in game situations and the coaching staff figures out which guys can do what in the scheme, and what exactly the defense is capable of doing as a whole. I would not be surprised to see the playing time at several positions on the defense fluctuating wildly until October.
The good news in the first month is that the offense is going to be potent, and the defense does have some parts that should work well from the start. In particular, the CBs as a group are stronger than we’ve had in quite some time. If the CBs can hold up reasonably well, that will help make the blitz packages more effective, and help us commit more guys to the run when needed.
By about the second week of October we will have a much better idea if the defense is going to be markedly improved with the new scheme, and with the infusion of speed among the recent arrivals. I’ve got my fingers crossed.
Last year we were at a nine win season if we had held serve in second half of last two games. We could be much improved this year and still not be a nine win season. Since we had nine win in sight last year , you would think that with all the things noted above we should be looking at 10-11 wins this year. Don’t see it at all, so is 7-8 games our ceiling and are we ok with it?
In fact, the past two seasons should have been 9 win seasons. Somehow each year we find a way to blow a game or two tha should’ve been won, a trend that I don’t see going away. I don’t see a 10 win season in CBB’s SEC future, unless things drastically turn around this year. Let’s not forget we break in a new qb next year and that will be the reason it will be a projected 6 win season once again.
Which schedule are you looking at!!!?
Those could very easily be 4 L’s.
The home schedule includes a neutral site game against an SEC opponent we have never beaten in the SEC.
MSU will be better.
Auburn embarrassed us.
We choked against Mizzou.
The “home” schedule could easily be 2-2. That puts us at 2-6 in SEC. We should win the 4 NON Conf games but TCU is NOT a given. We had to have a final drive & 2 pt conv to get the game into OT where we won last year… could’ve gone either way. If you recall, we should’ve lost the La Tech game…
Very well said. It is too early in camp to panic with almost 3 weeks of practice left.
From all I have read and heard (and I have not seen anything so take it for what it’s worth) we will have a better offense. I believe we will have better defensive backs, too. Our punting and kicking game will be very inconsistent. Our return game could actually be better. My worry is that we only have one quality defensive lineman and one and one half quality linebackers. I don’t expect our win total to be any greater this year, but I’ll be rooting for them to win every game!
I agree. I certainly don’t think the switch to the 3-4 defense will increase victories for the Razorbacks. We still don’t have the talent level in the front seven, IMO.
I’ll make a guess that Agim will be at the nose position and Roesler will move back to DE by the TCU game or the A&M game.
The only way Sosa ever plays nose is on some kind of third and forever special situation where we three DEs have their hands on the ground but are doing nothing but rushing the QB like their hair is on fire. They are not going to put Sosa in the middle to wrestle with double teams from guards and centers, he’s twenty pounds too light and is much more valuable being further out where he can make plays. They are more likely to move some of the other guys inside for more snaps, like Marshall for instance.
It’s the reason we tanked a few games last year.
Chemistry-the defensive players like the new DC and have bought in to his defense. They didn’t like the DC last year and didn’t buy into his system.
Chemistry-Austin knows he must spread the ball around better the whole game, not just the scripted plays early in the game.
Chemistry-It won’t sneak up on Bielema again this year. He is a guy that fixes things.
nlr, I understand Sosa’s size may be not be ideal, but the thing he has the top two at the position don’t, is quickness, speed, and maybe strength. The nose needs to move the pile. Stalemates won’t cut it against the run or pass.
Of course, I realize Sosa couldn’t play 70 or 80 plays per game. But playing 78 and 41 will be tantamount to the HC playing 51 at guard all of last year when he obviously wasn’t ready. Don’t think a double team will be necessary most of the time.
Marshall, I don’t know anything about except he does have some size going for him.