What I like about Arkansas

I’m still in that positive mood. It is inspired by dinner at Brio with a beautiful woman, and followed by a walk in the moonlight, well the light of the street lamps. It makes anyone upbeat. I’m so upbeat I’m going to tell you what I like about the Arkansas Razorbacks.

There are many things to like about Arkansas and the 2010 edition of the Arkansas Razorbacks. It is a great state with wonderful people. There is Walmart too, and who doesn’t like Walmart? You can buy a microwave at 3 a.m.—that might just be the greatest gift ever. Sure, Bill Clinton came from Arkansas, but it isn’t the state’s fault he was a little horny.

What I like about Arkansas is its offense. This is what a real offense looks like instead of the junk spread offenses so prevalent in football today. These guys can run a 2-minute drill. Ryan Mallett is a real quarterback. He needs to improve his accuracy in big games against the best defenses, but that has a lot to do with offensive line play. I like that Arkansas returns four of five along the offensive front. That should really help improve the quarterback’s play against teams with great defenses like an Alabama.

What I like about Arkansas is Bobby Petrino. He did not handle his exit from Atlanta very well, but he is a great coach. What is most impressive is that even though he is a successful offensive strategist, Petrino isn’t afraid of other ideas; he is open to learning and hired Nevada’s offensive coordinator Chris Klenakis as line coach. Fans saw some of Nevada’s Pistol formation in Alabama’s playbook, and Arkansas made use of it too. In his DVDs, Klenakis teaches how the pistol can be used for a power running game. If he helps the Arkansas running game and improves the offensive line, then the passing game will get just that much better for the Razorbacks.

I’m trying to think of something nice to say about the Arkansas defense. Perhaps the only good thing to say is that it can’t get much worse than 2009.

4 Comments

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  1. 1
    Mark H. - Syracuse, NY

    Good read on the strengths of Hogs players and coaches, especially for a Bama website. Arkansas seems to be a bit of a “high risk/high payout” pick for 2010–meaning, while the offense looks to be a blockbuster, the defense has proven itself vulnerable to the Big Play in general, and passing teams, in particular. But most preseason breakdowns, to this point, have tended to leave the Hog defense as an uneasy question mark, in favor of channeling the bulk of their analysis (and accolades) to the offense.

    So, here are just a few items about the defense to, perhaps, give a little broader perspective.

    The key move by Petrino and staff from the Spring, in my opinion, was moving Rudell Crim from corner to safety. Crim was a highly touted DB from Kansas JUCO who also played safety, and last year was the Hogs best cover corner. This move added greater speed and versatility to the secondary (an area where the Hogs sorely lacked in 2009). Additionally, the Hogs will be returning Jr. corner Isaac Madison from injury this year. Before his injury, which kept him out of the 2009 season, Madison was the Hogs’ best cover corner, and the idea is that he will replace Crim. The Hogs have struggled a bit to develop 5-star recruit, Darius Winston, into the other corner position, but the word from the Spring is that Winston is much improved.

    Arkansas’ run defense in 2009 wasn’t bad–notably, they held high ranking teams (including Florida and Alabama)to few yards for much of the game, but struggled late for lack of depth-(and of course, the occasional busted Big Play). Speed in the secondary will help a little, but also, the Hogs had a highly efficient recruiting year on both sides of the line, and some recruiting services even slotted them the top ranked DL class. I would look for improved depth on the D line.

    The real uncertainty–to which I’ve been whittling down–is the linebackers. The Hogs need greater depth and greater speed.

    The teams that will beat the Razorbacks in 2010 will be those who can either challenge the offensive line (which looks to be quite solid and experienced) and get to Mallett, or those who can beat the linebackers consistently on short run-passing schemes.

  2. 2
    capstonereport

    Thanks for sharing that. I may have to put your reply in its own post to make sure more people see it and benefit from the perspective.

  3. 3
    almightytmc1

    What i like about Arkansas.
    They kicked Gus malzahn to the curb because his dipsy-do trickeroo was a bullshit offense when you have the best running back tandem in the nation.

    That they havent strung up turncoat Walt Williams for dropping some great prospects in the highest bidders laps.

    That they beat Auburn alot lately.

    That in a battle of offensive wits, Bobby Petrino can wipe his tail on Gus Malzahn and a lot of other “Great offensive minds”

    That given all of the money some of the boosters have, Arkansas doesnt appear to buy any players and doesnt appear to want to pay anyone to come several hundred miles to play for them…. like some schools do.

    What I do like about Arkansas is that they have actually PLAYED for a few National championships, and they dont try to claim some obscure championship from 50+ years ago that actually belongs to a team that did.

    What i like about Arkansas is when they beat auburn… (did I already mention that?)

  4. 4
    Lynn Brown

    As person who is an Ark fan but taking classes at UA, this is a great and accurate article. I agree with your assessment of both offense and defense. They should do well this year but the defense is still suspect. BTW – i’m a closet UA fan. I don’t see them repeating last year but I do see them as one of two teams playing in the SEC Championship.

    As far as beating Auburn, we (Ark) don’t have a true rival like we did when we were in the SWC and I think that takes away, a little, from the game. We thought beating Texas was a winning season!!!

    Thanks for the great article especially since this is a UA site. this is why i’m a closet fan – it’s a game and it’s fellowship. I make every UA vs AR game with my best fan, who’s a huge UA fan. Win or lose we have a great time every year.

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