Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney may have understated it a bit Sunday night when he said Arkansas “lost our way a little bit in the second quarter” when Georgia exploded for 31 points in a 45-32 victory.
The Hogs committed critical turnovers and penalties that contributed to that Georgia onslaught. Some were caused by protection issues that created sacks and fumbles by quarterback Brandon Allen. Chaney said it was a group effort in the protection, including Allen holding the ball too long on several plays.
“We had issues,” Chaney said. “We were loose up front. Brandon held the ball and we didn't protect. It's on everyone.
“Protection starts with the line declaring the mike linebacker. Then, the receivers have to be in the right spots and Brandon has to get the ball out of his hand. All of those contributed.
“We got a little excited up front and Brandon got a little excited.When a quarterback gets hit, that's a big deal. It affects most of them.
“In the second half, we calmed down. The line got on the right people and Brandon calmed down. We lost our way a little bit in the second quarter.
“We have to do a better job and it starts with me as a coach. You start off by looking in the mirror and you communicate that to the players.”
Chaney said that there were positives.
“About 75 percent of the plays looked like they are supposed to look,” he said. “We were doing some good things in the run game, especially with the toss play. We thought we could continue to run that, but we got so far back that we had to pass in the back end of the game.
“The ball is incredibly important and we didn't secure it (with four turnovers). We need to work on that and it will be a priority this week.”
Chaney was asked if there were issues in the vertical passing game with speed at wide receiver.
“Demetrius Wilson is a guy that has the speed to help us there,” he said. “But we had a couple of guys open deep. Keon Hatcher was behind them twice and Brandon didn't see him.”
As far as changing the rotation at wide receiver, Chaney said freshman Kendrick Edwards, with a wonderful catch on a fade for a touchdown, had earned more playing time.
“We are going to get the freshmen in there more,” Chaney said. “We will do that.”
Defensive coordinator Robb Smith was disappointed in the big plays allowed, including long touchdown plays in both the run and pass games. He praised middle linebacker Josh Williams (14 tackles) for a solid first start.
“It was very good,” Smith said. “He took every snap. We need to get him better and that will happen as he plays more.”
Georgia opened the game throwing deep.
“Everyone has a plan, they obviously wanted to take shots down the field early,” Smith said. “We have to keep the ball in front of us.
“They had some new wrinkles in the run game and our guys responded to that in the second half.”
The Hogs had stopped the run against Alabama.
“We went from playing up the field against Alabama to playing side to side against Georgia,” Smith said. “I don't know why. They attacked us downhill and we didn't go up the field against them, especially in the first half. We attacked up the field better in the second half and did a little better against the run.”
Smith was disappointed with penalties.
“We must play clean,” he said. “We had a targeting penalty on Braylon Mitchell. We have to make sure we tackle the right way.
“But the big one came after a third down stop. It's a hard game anyway and you can't give a team like Georgia a play like that.”
That was in reference to a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against cornerback Tevin Mitchel.
Smith said the Hogs appeared to bounce back in Sunday's practice.
“Our guys were very locked in,” Smith said. “They know what's ahead of them. I think our guys are pretty good with what Coach (Bret) Bielema calls the 1-0 mentality.”
Hogs "lost way" in second quarter
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