Offense needed to help defense more

The short yardage game will get more time this week in preparation of Georgia, according to offensive coordinator Jim Chaney. Lack of running game prompted more passing in second half. Chaney said the offense needed to help the defense more in a great effort against the Tide.

Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney loved the effort in a 14-13 loss to Alabama, but was disappointed with the key mistakes,, most notably the three turnovers.

“I’m awfully proud of how hard we play,” Chaney said Sunday night after reviewing tape. “We show up to play every week and play our hind ends off.

“But we have to learn to play without so many mistakes. The two fumbles hurt, obviously. The first one was a real downer.”

Fullback Kody Walker fumbled just inches short of the goal line on a short pass from quarterback Brandon Allen. The ball squirted through the end zone for a touchback.

“We just simply have to play better,” Chaney said, who then said he could second guess some of his play calling against the Tide.

“There’s always some of that, this play or that play. There was some of that last night. I have to do a better job.”

Chaney was disappointed in the running game production. The Hogs netted just 89 yards on the ground, only 8 yards on five runs in the fourth quarter.

“From my standpoint, I couldn’t get the run game going,” he said. “Then, we became one dimensional. Sometimes you really want to be patient, because 2, 3, 4 in the first half can turn into big plays in the second half when you wear them down. But then sometimes, that’s enough and you need to throw it. That’s where we were last night.

“On the positive side, Brandon Allen made plays and our tight ends showed up. The tough part was not getting the run game going.

“They were bringing (blitzes) and Brandon played well against it. He moved his feet and it was not reckless. He was calm and fast. It was a solid outing for Brandon.”

Allen was 21 of 40, but his last past was intercepted on a third-down throw that was off balance on a scramble to his right, throwing back for an open Jonathan Williams wide of Alabama safety Landon Collins. It didn’t make it to Williams.

“I told Brandon if he can make that play, great, but I’d really like to throw it away and play fourth down,” Chaney said. “We played on a long field for most of the night, but we didn’t get enough points for our defense.

“I feel bad about that because our defense was flying around all night. I wish we could have done more to help them.

“I will re-evaluate our short yardage situations and put more (practice) time into them. We just want to play clean and better.”

Defensive coordinator Robb Smith praised effort, too.

“We hung in there and played hard,” he said. “We tackled well. We just have to continue to improve to get to where we want to be as a defense.

“Trey Flowers, Darius Philon, Brooks Ellis, Tevin Mitchel and Henre’ Toliver really played well,” Smith said. “Our defensive line played very well.”

Smith credited Mitchel and Toliver for consistent coverage against Alabama star wideout Amari Cooper, held to just two catches.

“Toliver had him on the perimeter and Tevin when he was in the slot,” Smith said. “And, we did a good job of tracking him over the middle, our linebackers.

“It was a great environment last night and our guys got into it. They had a great week of practice and it showed. We have guys playing hard and making improvement.

“There were just a few plays that linger in your mind, that we left on the field. Anytime you give up a score, that’s going to be where you start. But there are plenty of positives.”

Smith said the Hogs subbed to match personnel when Alabama changed ahead of the game’s final touchdown. Head coach Bret Bielema tried to get a timeout, running deep onto the field.

“We didn’t like the look they were in compared to our look, but we didn’t get the call,” Smith said. “That’s the way it goes. Sometimes, you don’t know what it takes (to get a timeout).”

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