Defense Can't Stop McCoy

Willy Robinson said the Hogs need to "whittle back" after blitzes failed against Texas QB Colt McCoy.

The Arkansas defense made Colt McCoy look better than Bobby Layne or Vince Young, the two Texas quarterbacks with their name on the stadium facade at Texas.

Worse, McCoy replaced Rice with Arkansas in the UT opponent record book in the 52-10 rout.

McCoy, who dazzled with 84 yards on his nine runs, was even better with the pass. His 17 of 19 passing for 185 yards (and backup John Chiles' 4-of-4) gave the Longhorns 91.3 percent for the day and topped the record 10-of-11 day they had in 2006 -- against Rice.

Arkansas opened the game by bringing the heat, so to speak. UA defensive coordinator Willy Robinson dialed up blitz after blitz for McCoy.

That's a two-fold problem. First, the Razorbacks have no defensive heat. Two, they have no one in the back end who can run with the freakish McCoy.

This may take at least another recruiting class to fix, but there is at least some hope for Robinson. He finally has the three linebackers he expected to start the season.

For the first time, Arkansas was able to start Jerry Franklin, Elston Forte and Freddy Burton in a true 4-3 look. Jerico Nelson, playing out of position the first three weeks at "jack" linebacker, moved back to his natural spot at strong safety.

"Yeah," Robinson said when asked if he was glad to get back to a linebacker-based scheme. "Those three are going to be very reliable players for us as this season goes along."

And, they may be able to do more out of a base scheme than anything fancy as far as blitzes and multiple looks.

"That's what we learned as the game went on today," Robinson said. "Look at me first. I tried to do too much at the start of the game and as we whittled it down, we got better. We may have found our niche in the second half. We need to keep it simple and let our kids play."

Part of the problem against Texas was McCoy. He had all the answers. He called his own number to beat the Hogs when they spread themselves too thin in blitzes and then found some tasty matchups. He found linebackers on wide receivers for several big plays.

"That was on me," Robinson said. "They had been running the ball, and when we called some run blitzes, he saw it and went to the play to beat it. He can operate their system and we tried to do too much."

Nelson sounded a bit awed by it all in the post-game media session. He said the noise in the stadium and the no-huddle look by McCoy left the Hogs scrambling to get lined up right.

"We had some communication problems and we were late some," he said. "We'd get the call and Texas was already there at the line and it was happening fast. We couldn't hear each other on our communications trying to get it all right."

Part of that might just be a true freshmen trying to process everything. That was Robinson's take. "He has some liabilities, sure," Robinson said of Nelson. "But we will be able to correct that."

As far as communication on alignment, Robinson said, "That's BS because they all have wrist bands and should see the calls from the sideline at the same time."

Robinson wouldn't buy any excuses.

"We didn't get it done and they did everything we practiced against this week," he said. "They -- and the quarterback -- are awfully good. He made our guys in the back end look really slow. But we didn't do a very good disguising anything and he picked it up real quick.

"I need to look in the mirror first. We have to try to whittle back and not try to create so much."

Offensively, it wasn't much different. Captain Jonathan Luigs, senior center, seemed overwhelmed by the back-to-back debacles against Alabama and Texas.

"I've never experienced anything like it," Luigs said. "I've never gotten beat in back-to-back games like that and I've been here a long time.

"I've thought we had really good practices the last two weeks and then forget everything we know for the game. We've really looked bad.

"You look at the score and it shouldn't be like that."

Offensive coordinator Paul Petrino knows it is like that, but the Hogs will have their day, too.

"I don't have any great answers right now," Paul Petrino said. "But the day will come when we whip their butts like that and we are the ones running up the score."

Perhaps, but it's not going to happen soon. Colt McCoy may be awesome, but guess who is next for the Arkansas defense? Yep, it's Tim Tebow.


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