Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney needed some time to evaluate the red zone offense. Jonathan Williams said he and Alex Collins just needed some time to rest.
That was a couple of the thoughts that came out of the Wednesday night media opportunity during the bye week for the Hogs.
"We just have not generated enough points in conference games," Chaney said. "This week for me, it's all about looking at myself to see what I can do better"
Chaney was asked specifically about the fourth quarter drought against Mississippi State when the Hogs had first and goal down just one score. He was reminded that there have been multiple situations late in games when the Hogs needed one yard but were stuffed.
"You'd think you could (get one yard)," Chaney said.
Specifically, in the Mississippi State goal line stand, Chaney said, "Two of those were great plays by the defense, but we also had mistakes in some other plays."
Chaney said the playcaller always "faces a dilemma" in short yardage.
"Do you get comfortable with some plays and formations that had been successful, or do you get away from that," he said. "It doesn't matter who you play, that's what you look at. And, are you good enough to try something different.
"Historically, you stay with what has been successful."
The Hogs had five possessions that crossed midfield after getting a 10-0 lead against State, but didn't score again.
"We were cleaner in this game and did some things well," he said. "But we just didn't get anything explosive in the run game and by that, I'm talking about runs over 12 yards."
There was a 42-yard burst by Alex Collins, but Jonathan Williams didn't have a burst after sustaining a first-quarter knee injury. Both Williams and Collins have taken it easy in practice this week. Williams was just getting healthy after sustaining a shoulder injury in the opener against Auburn. He wore a brace after the injury in the third play against State.
"I don't know exactly what happened," Williams said. "I looked at the tape trying to see. I put on the brace. Just by nature, the knee brace limits you. It's tough, but I battled through it. Me and Alex are getting some rest this week."
Chaney said the Hogs need a little better yardage on first down. He said he was pleased with a 9 of 20 night on third down against State.
"But at the end of the day, you don't want 20 third downs," he said. "I've got to be more creative as a playcaller. That's what I'm studying right now. I'm trying to get us some more explosive plays.
"You know that the defenses we are playing are talented, but we can do better. We've got to believe we can do better and that's on me as the playcaller."
The Hogs had sustained seven turnovers in their previous two SEC games, including four against Georgia. That was cut to one, but it was the final Arkansas play of the game, a Brandon Allen interception in the end zone. Chaney worried that he may have cut back too much to avoid turnovers.
"That's why I say creativity," he said. "We went with things that we could execute and we did a better job. But I have to make sure not to be stale. Maybe when we get creative, we make too many mistakes. That's the worry. But right now, I need to be more creative. That's my evaluation."
After not having Henre' Toliver the last two weeks because of a deep back bruise, secondary coach Clay Jennings said the true freshman defensive back was full speed at practice this week and will play against LSU. Jennings praised three other defensive backs in the Class of 2014.
"Santos Ramirez and Cornelius Floyd both are practicing very well," Jennings said. "We are going to lose three seniors, but we have a great core to build on with these young ones. We just need to go get two or three more and we'll be OK.
"Santos has done a nice job. He's got length and I think he can play corner or safety. Floyd is coming along and Toliver has been really impressive the last two days. Josh Liddell does some really good things, too."
"Ramirez has added 10 to 12 pounds since he's gotten here. He's so versatile and he brings a lot of energy to the field. The kids love him. He made a play today that got everyone excited. I call it creating mayhem. He has energy and intelligence."
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