Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This Week in the Dawg House: Arkansas' Offense Preview

Well, if you know anything about Arkansas you know about their offense. Lots of points, passing yards, attempts, and completions. Ryan Mallett is the quarterback and they have eleventy-billion really good wide receivers. Bobby Petrino is the coach and digs leaving his job in the middle of the night for greener pastures. The defense, well you might wanna leave that part out, because it may or may not exist. If you enjoy big numbers you'll probably enjoy this preview. The Hogs offense is, at the least very prolific.

The Hogs have the afforementioned # 15 Mallett manning the helm at QB. He's 6'7 and 235 pounds of lean, mean, gun-slinging machine. His numbers this year are pretty good- a cool 49/67 for 701 yards, 6 TD, and 2 INT. If those of you at home are keeping track thats a 73.1% completion rate and is averaging 10.5 yards per attempt. He ranks 8th in the country in quarterback rating with a 184.60. These are numbers facing two great defenses in La. Monroe and Tennessee Tech, by the way. Yeah. Notwithstanding those matchups, Mallett is easily the 1st or 2nd best QB prospect in the country, depending on who's analysis you side with. Just for the record, I don't count Jake Locker because he's more of a dual-threat guy, and we all know how that goes in "THE LEAGUE".

As I mentioned before, the Hogs aren't struggling at the reciever position. #3 Joe Adams looks to be the deep threat with #85 Greg Childs being the most favored target on the field. If you'll remember Adams from a few years ago, he was down to USC, UGA, and Arky and at the last minute pulled the trigger and made his way to Fayetteville. His stats for this year are 9 rec. for 214 yards and 2 TD, at nearly 24 yards a clip, that is a pretty good average. Childs is more of the possession guy and has 16 receptions for 172 yards and 2 TD. #4 Jarius Wright is the third option and is more of a shifty guy at 5'10 180. Cobi Hamilton #11 is the fourth option at 6'3 208. The last two have around 5 receptions and about 75 total yards each. Phil Steele has ranked this unit as the best receiving corps in the nation, although he does include the tight end position in his analysis.

Tight Ends:
Arkansas has, arguably, the best tight end in the conference in senior #45 D.J. Williams. He is phenomenal in all aspects of the game. A very good blocker and reciever make Williams easily a top-5 prospect in the draft at his position. He has around 1300 yards and 6 TD's for his career, with his best year coming in 2008 with 723 yards and 3 TD. I could be wrong, but I'm fairly certain D.J. had his best game of the year last year against us. With our recent history of getting pwned by the other teams TE, that should come as no surprise.

Running Backs:
Arkansas has a bevy of RB's who split carries- four of them to be precise. #7 Knile Davis is the starter and has 11 carries for 86 yards. #29 Broderick Green, who was the leading rusher from last year is #2 on the depth chart and is a monster at 6'2 248; I dare say short yardage back. #33 Dennis Johnson is third and also does a very good job returning kicks for the Hogs. He was just behind Vandy freshman Warren Norman in total return yards last year with 1031. Ronnie Wingo, #20, rounds out the covey and has 7 carries for 58 yards and a touchdown.

Offensive line:
The Hogs look a little suspect here with two juniors, a senior, and two redshirt freshmen along the offensive front. At LT #73, a Bainbridge GA native, Ray Dominguez anchors the line. Dominguez is a junior and has 22 starts under his belt at LT. At LG, #71 Wade Grayson is a junior and has 25 career starts. The center position is held down by redshirt freshman #64 Travis Swanson, who beat out last years starter Seth Oxner for his spot. The right side of the line is composed of RG #67 Alvin Bailey, another redshirt freshman, and #65 Demarcus Love, a senior with 13 starts at right tackle. The Hogs o-line has given up three sacks against very, very mediocre competition. Gone is 1st team All-SEC RG Mitch Petrus, but they do have around 90 starts returning on the two-deep. To me, this looks a lot like what we faced last week with SoCar. I can only hope the results will be different.

Senior #7 ALex Tejada has been killing the football. Arkansas has the highest kickoff average and also leads the conference in touchbacks with 5. This will effectively eliminate our return threat of Bam Boykin. Zack Hocker, #18 and a true freshman has taken away place kicking duties from Tejada, however. He is 10 of 10 on extra points and is 1 of 1 on field goals. If the game comes down to a field goal, I like our chances here.

Bobby Petrino runs a very balanced, power spread offense. It is somewhat similar in nature to what Steve Spurrier and Dennis Erickson run and is predicated on the effectiveness of the backs. Spurrier hasn't been able to get anything going for the past five years because he has lacked a respectable threat in the backfield. Last week we saw what a similar type of offense can do when a RB has an exceptional performance. Petrino will spend about two-thirds of time in a spread set and the other third in a traditional I-formation setup (You should know this formation since we run it 93% of the time). CBP's offense hinges on the theory of creating confusion, as the same play can be run with at least 10 different personnel groupings. The key to stopping this offense is creating 2nd or 3rd-and-long and creating an effective pass rush on those downs. We will have to perform better along the d-line to have a chance this week.

Starting Lineup:
QB #15 Ryan Mallett, Jr.
RB #7 Knile Davis, So.
WR #3 Joe Adams, Jr.
WR #4 Jarius Wright, Jr.
WR #85 Greg Childs, Jr.
TE #45 D.J. Williams, Sr.
LT #73 Ray Dominguez, Jr.
LG #71 Wade Grayson, Jr.
C #64 Travis Swanson, rFr.
RG #67 Alvin Bailey, rFr.
RT #65 Demarcus Love, Sr.

K #7 Alex Tejada, Sr.

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