State of the Hogs: Florida

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State of the Hogs:

Arkansas came out for the Auburn game running the ball between the tackles. The Hogs failed in their attempt to establish themselves as the dominant team at the line of scrimmage. They had a bunch of 1-yard runs to open the game.

So what will be the strategy for the Florida game this week? Will the Hogs try to pound the Gators, or put the ball in the air at the outset as they did against Texas to open the season?

It's the personal view that the Hogs will try to do both? What? Can you do both?

Well, I think they will emphasize the run and try to control the tempo, but they will also throw the ball early and force Florida's athletic safeties to play the pass and keep them out of the running game defense.

I do not think Florida is as physical as Auburn up front. Florida is physical, but Auburn's defense is the best the Hogs will see all year in the personal view. I think Florida is a better matchup for what Arkansas does than Auburn was last week.

That does not mean Florida is a soft touch. It's just that they are more athletic and less physical than Auburn. Arkansas should be able to pound Florida. Hence, I think that will be the approach and the Hogs should be able to control the line of scrimmage.

Arkansas has worked on the physical aspects of the game all week. It has worked on being quick out of the huddle and quick to the line of scrimmage in an attempt to play at a faster tempo and tire out the defense. That did not happen last week, but it should be a big key in the game this week.

Conversely, Arkansas must put some heat on Chris Leak without losing containment. Leak has been prone to throw interceptions when he's been under pressure. I look for Arkansas to bring the heat against the young Florida quarterback.

Some have wondered how the Hogs will bounce back from a tough, bitter pill to swallow in the controversial penalties sustained in the second half of the Auburn game. I think they will step up big time.

Arkansas wide receiver George Wilson may have had the best quote of the week when he said, "We can't let Auburn beat us twice." That's about as clear as I could put it. Auburn is gone. Larry Leatherwood, the ref who flagged Wilson for holding twice, is gone. (Surely, Bobby Gaston wouldn't assign Leatherwood to a game at Reynolds Razorback Stadium this week?) This is a big game for the Hogs and they will be ready.

Wilson and his teammates have had the Florida game circled for quite some time. This is a game that all of the Hogs have looked at as a big game. Florida might not be in the top 10, but it is still Florida and the Hogs want to beat the Gators.

I think they will be ready. I think they want to pound someone this week. I think they want to pound some Gator flesh. I'd be surprised if they don't free some of the demons that have haunted them this past week since the last seconds ticked off in the Auburn defeat.

 


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