Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Arkansas Razorbacks season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Arkansas Razorbacks
Let’s try a new approach.
Arkansas will never be able to outrecruit Alabama, LSU or Auburn in the SEC West, so to go old school Charlie Weis, it’ll need a decided schematic advantage to have a shot at ever taking down the division.
That should’ve been what Bret Bielema brought to the table.
Wisconsin was able to hang with the Big Ten big boys by being nastier, tougher, bigger, and doing everything right on defense, special teams, penalties and intangibles. Bielema seemed like the right hire at the right time to turn Arkansas into a different sort of power program, but it never happen.
The D wasn’t up to snuff, the running game wasn’t as strong as it should’ve been, and the formula just didn’t take.
So now what? How about bringing in a coach who likes to put up massive numbers with the passing game and try outbombing everyone else?
Fine, so if you’re not going to play a lick of D, you might as well have a good time.
Let’s see Jimbo, or Joe, or Saban, or Orgeron, or Malzahn do this …
Chad Morris made his name as a Texas high school coaching superstar before eventually being the offensive coordinator at Clemson. Nevermind that he went 14-23 in his three years at SMU – his offense was 15th in the nation last season with an air show that averaged almost 300 yards per game.
And the defense?
The offense put up 479 yards per game and the defense allowed 477 … but it was a fun ride.
2018 Arkansas won’t be 2017 SMU bad defensively, and it should be okay following a miserable year. New defensive coordinator John Chavis gets back most of the key parts from last season, and now he’s tinkering with them all. If nothing else, unlike 2017, there will be a pass rush – that alone should make a whale of a difference.
There’s experience and upside on the other side, but it’ll have to be about the offensive scheme that starts to make this all work.
No, Morris might not have been the sexiest of SEC West hires – considering Texas A&M is throwing $70 million at Jimbo Fisher, and Mississippi State hire Joe Moorhead was fantastic as the Penn State OC and before that as the Fordham head coach – but that’s okay.
Things are about to be different at Arkansas. It’s a different hire, a different look, and a different way of trying to make something amazing happen.