The First Look – Arkansas
Last week was a bummer, but it happens. GET OVER IT. It’s Arkansas week. WOO PIG.
This is what Arkansas fans are doing in preparation for Auburn week.
This is the same radio station that gave us such classics as:
Maybe instead of being some weird redneck cousin of Weird Al, they could encourage their team to focus on stopping Auburn’s offense so this doesn’t happen:
This has been a relatively close game through the history of the series, but Auburn showed why they’re better than Arkansas last year.
— Auburn Einstein (@AuburnEinstein) October 18, 2017
To me, Arkansas hasn’t improved since 2014. 2015 and 2016 have shown no progress. In fact, one could assert that Arkansas has regressed in this time period. I assert this.
Arkansas wants to be a power run team. They want to run behind a dominant offensive line and pound the opponent to death. Do you remember hearing a few years ago how “Arkansas has the biggest offensive line in all of football”? Well, this team is a long way from there. In terms of Tackles for Loss allowed, Arkansas line went from being ranked 2nd (’13), 24th (’14), 12th (’15) to being ranked 103rd (’16) and rank 64th so far this season.
Even in sacks allowed, Arkansas was ranked 2nd (’13), 13th (’14), 10th (’15), 71st (’16), and are ranked 106th so far this year. Now, Auburn is technically ranked 123rd in sacks allowed this season, but if you take out the Clemson game, then Auburn is ranked in the top 50. Not great, but not completely telling on the season they’ve had.
I say all of this to make the point that Arkansas does not have the players to be the team they want to be. Couple this with that fact that they’re starting a redshirt freshman at QB that has only seen significant action in last week’s loss to Alabama. Oh, and Arkansas gets to play their first home conference game against the #13 team in terms of total defense.
Has there been a worse defense in the SEC than Arkansas? I mean, Missouri is pretty bad, but just go ahead and tweet @WarBlogle and see how he feels about their status in the SEC. This season, Arkansas ranks 55th in total defense giving up 374.3 yards per game. What gets Arkansas in trouble is their run defense which ranks 108th nationally giving up 4.99 yards per play and 173 yards per game. It’s defense like this that allows Auburn to run for 543 yards last season. This defense is BAAAAAAD.
Last year, I don’t believe Auburn was 56-3 better than Arkansas. I think Auburn’s best day came on Arkansas’s worst day. This year, I think Auburn is closer to 56-3 better than Arkansas. I don’t think they win by that much, and a lot of Arkansas fans think that Gus will run the score up on Arkansas this year because of the bad blood between Malzahn and Jeff Long (Arkansas’s AD). I think Arkansas playing at home helps them offensively, but I don’t expect this one to be close. I think Auburn walks away 48-17.