Scouting Arkansas Offense

The Gator defense has been simply spectacular this season, but as good as that unit has played, the Arkansas Razorbacks provide the biggest challenge that they will face, possibly all season. The Razorbacks have scored 40-plus points in four of their five games and are averaging 37.4 points and 452 yards a game.

They offer up the first, legit downfield passing attack the Gators have seen and it will take an exceptional effort to shut them down. Alabama, however limited Arkansas to 254 yards and just seven points so it can be done. Florida also has the best secondary in the SEC and as you've read on this site this week the Gator DBs are eager for the opportunity.

Last year the Gators held this offense to seven points, even though Arkansas gained 361 yards of total offense. They are better this year and the reason is the addition of trigger man Ryan Mallett. The 6-7 transfer from Michigan is a strong-armed QB who is excellent in the downfield passing game. He's not supremely accurate (57 percent) but is passing for 284 yards a game with 13 TD and just 3 INT. He is far and away the best QB Florida will see before a bowl game, if then. Mallett is not particularly mobile so you can to force him to move around inside and outside the pocket.

The running game is a bit of a question mark due to a reported hamstring strain for talented tailback Mike Smith (325, 6.5, 2). However the latest reports out of Fayetteville is that the talented runner looks good and should be ready to go. That's important because Smith drove Florida nuts last year, running for 133 yards and catching six passes for 43 more. Smith is a small back, but like Florida's Jeff Demps he is surprisingly strong. He's also a good receiver (11, 11.7, 1).

Ronnie Wingo (175, 7.3, 1) and Broderick Green (74, 2.2, 3) give them solid depth, but Smith is a key guy for this offense. Alabama stopped him and the Hogs ended up connecting on just 16 of 41 passes so maintaining balance in the offense is crucial. They run mostly out of the "I" formation and the FB is strictly a blocker.

They have an impressive collection of WR who all seems to be good, but no one really great in the class of a Julio Jones, A.J. Green or even Brandon LaFell. The unit is weakened by an apparent stroke that sidelined Joe Adams (16, 19.8. 2). Some consider him to be the best of Arkansas' pass catchers. Florida probably does since Adams caught five passes for 68 yards in last year's game. They still have two very productive ones in Greg Childs (21, 16.4, 4) and Jarius Wright (16, 20.5, 2) are a very solid trio and are No. 3-5 in the SEC in yards per game. Add in TE DJ Williams (14, 11.2, 2) and you have a real test for the Gator secondary. Williams caught six passes against the Gators in 2008.

The offensive line doesn't overwhelm but it has plenty of size and strength. The tackles Ray Dominguez and DeMarcus Love are in the 330-range so Florida's speed on the corner should cause them plenty of problems. The line is not like Florida's in that they don't try to push people around. They employ a "zone blocking" scheme where each guy tries to protect his area and let the play makers find space.

Overall I really like this offense and its ability to throw downfield. It's very much like Steve Spurrier's offense. The only thing they really lack is a dominant line and a game breaker at WR, but they are still very good.

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