Jim Chaney thought the offensive line blocked “just OK” and knows the “speed of the game” is about to change with the arrival of SEC play. Robb Smith was pleased about the way halftime adjustments took hold.
That was among the general assessments of the Arkansas coordinators Sunday night after reviewing tape of Arkansas’ 52-14 victory over Northern Illinois.
Arkansas travels to Arlington to face Texas A&M this week. Game time 2:30 p.m. CBS-TV has the coverage.
Chaney, the offensive coordinator, was pleased with the 10 of 14 success rate on third down, but wanted a little more production in the running game. However, he was pleased when a reporter mentioned the balance of the offense after the Hogs passed for 215 and ran for 212.
“I’m glad someone said that,” Chaney said. “It warms my heart.”
Chaney thought the running game could have been better, but was not surprised that NIU offered a physical presence and sound scheme defensively.
“I wasn’t just talking last week when I said they had no fleas as far as scheme,” Chaney said. “They will smoke you with their front. I thought we played just OK. We didn’t play as clean. We played OK, but not bad. We just didn’t excel up front.”
Chaney praised quarterback Brandon Allen.
“Brandon played good football,” Chaney said. “He has all season. He secures the football and he throws it away when nothing is there.”
Chaney liked what he saw from junior college transfer Cody Hollister, with two big third-down catches.
“Cody can run good routes and he can catch the ball,” Chaney said. “He’s had production throughout his career.
“He understands the system and now he’s going to have to learn the speed of the game the next weeks in the SEC.”
As far as the passing game, it comes down to team execution and understanding of the scheme.
“Our kids know where they need to be,” Chaney said, “and Brandon knows where the ball needs to go based on coverages.
“It comes down to moving the chain. We don’t like to have to convert third and long. We like it a little shorter and that makes it tougher on the defense.”
Smith thought the Hogs were tough on NIU in the third quarter when some halftime adjustments produced three straight three-and-outs. The Hogs focus at halftime was eliminating the wide receiver screens, good for three nice gains on the Huskies’ touchdown march in the second quarter.
“We wanted to get that stopped and we did,” Smith said. “We had a hat on a hat, but we changed to play three over two. To stop them three straight times in the third quarter was important. The adjustments were good.”
The extra man to the field was outside linebacker Randy Ramsey, making his first start.
“That was nice to see, Randy getting out there,” Smith said. “He is able to play in our base. He is the most athletic in that bunch (at outside linebacker). He’d been bothered by an ankle sprain and he tweaked the other one.
“Our freshmen bring us some energy. I thought (junior college transfer) Josh Williams, playing for Brooks Ellis at mike, did some good things and he’ll continue to help us. Cornelius Floyd made plays and so did Dwayne Eugene. We are getting a lot of good things from that freshmen bunch.”
Defensive end Trey Flowers led with nine tackles, including a forced fumble that Darius Philon scooped for a 14-yard TD return.
“Those two gives us a nice combination on one side,” Smith said. “We expect more plays like that. We think bigger things are on the horizon for Darius. Trey recognized the fourth-down play. That’s where his film study pays off. He saw it coming and made the stop.”
Chaney: Speed of Game Changes
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