Who: Arkansas Razorbacks vs. North Texas Mean Green
Time/Channel: 3 PM, SEC Network Alternate
Keys To the Game
For Arkansas to win today, then Razorback defense needs to play a solid four quarters for the first time since 2015. Here is a look at the three things they will need to do to guarantee a 2-1 start to the season:
1. The defensive line needs to get off their block quickly.
-The most troubling aspect of this team the past three seasons has been the lack of a pass rush even against a FCS or Group of 5 opponent. This North Texas passing attack is a very good one with an exceptional quarterback and two big time receivers and developing a better pass rush will enable the guys in the secondary less time to cover their receiver. We will say this until we are blue in the face but until it happened it will be repeated weekly.
2. Quarterback play
-It has come as no surprise to anyone that the Razorbacks’ quarterback position would struggle in their first season in a new offense. What no one saw happening was how bad their passing game would look against a Colorado State defense that had given up over 400 yards per game through the air. If it were not for a Cole Kelley pop pass to TJ Hammonds for a 66 yard touchdown in the third quarter, the Hogs would only have passed for 77 total yards through the air. That is bad, especially for a coach who prides himself with great quarterback play. If Kelley or Ty Storey come out with a dud early on, expect to see Connor Noland to see time at quarterback today. Offensive coordinator, Joe Craddock stated this week that Noland has separated himself as the clear number three option at the position.
3. The receivers must find separation.
-The receivers struggled heavily getting open last season and struggled again at Colorado State. Last season facing teams like Florida A&M, New Mexico State and Coastal Carolina the receivers never had moves to trick their defender to get open. Whether that is the lack of physicality, route running ability or quickness to get off the line of scrimmage, the Hogs need their wideouts to learn how to get open. With the style and type of offense Coach Chad Morris wants to implement, you best bet your lucky dollar they will learn how to get open.
Enjoy the game, call the Hogs is loud and enjoy the process. Go Hogs!