Arkansas: the struggling offense

Arkansas has the lowest scoring offense in the SEC and it is no surprise.

If your team had no running attack, no passing attack and was averaging only 9 points per game, would you be concerned?

For Arkansas that is a reality. The Hogs have the worst offense in the SEC overall and are facing one of the better defenses this Saturday in Athens. It will be the eighth meeting between the two schools and never has the game seemed so one-sided before kickoff.

Arkansas' offensive problems started early this season when they rotated several quarterbacks in their come from behind win over UNLV. Their problems continued against Tennessee when the Hogs managed –19 yards in total offense in the second half.

The painful part about their poor second half performance against Tennessee is that they had the Vols down the whole game. Scoring one touchdown against the Vols could have won the game for Arkansas. But their troubles on the offensive side of the ball would not go away.

Against Alabama, Arkansas played well enough in the first half to stick within striking distance of the Tide. However, Alabama was able to score after forcing an Arkansas turnover and the game was over.

Arkansas cannot trade points with teams. They cannot afford any turnovers. In a way they are similar to South Carolina's offense in that it is very conservative and takes few chances. The big difference between USC and Arkansas is that Carolina could take chances if they wanted to, Arkansas doesn't have the firepower on offense to even try to attack downfield.

Numerous times in the Alabama game, the Tide would line up in a base defense and get pressure on the Arkansas quarterback. And blitzing would result in the Hog quarterback being knocked to the ground after the throw or sacked.

It is strange that Arkansas' line cannot protect its quarterback well. The Hogs use four upper classmen and one sophomore in trenches. But that group was not able to stop Alabama's defense from sacking Arkansas quarterbacks 6 times last Saturday.

To make things worse, Arkansas seems to have lost all steam in their running game. And again, at least part of the problem is the offensive line. There were no holes for Hog backs to run through and it shows. Arkansas is the worst rushing team in the SEC averaging a mere 50 yards rushing a game.

The Hogs have had the ball in their possession on offense 42 times. They have turned the ball over 10 times (24%). The Hogs have punted more than half of their possessions on offense, 24 times. But worst of all, Arkansas has managed only 4 scoring drives in their season. All of these statistics are the worst in the SEC. In other words bad things happen to Arkansas more than 81% of the time and good things happen for them only 9% of the time. How can a team win like that?

They can't.


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