Arkansas Review: Our Strength Is Becoming Our Weakness
I knew before the season started not to get my hopes up, I knew before the season started that we would struggle to win 9-10 games and that we would lack in several areas, I knew that we would lose a few games and I knew we wouldn’t be as strong as we were last year.
What I didn’t know, was that Quarterback was going to be our weakest position.
The game was atrocious offensively, the pass game is now non-existant and that seriously got exposed Saturday night without Blake, our best receiver. We now struggle to make a forward pass and if that continues we will lose more and more games as the season goes on. Trotter seems to have regressed since the start of the season, and I really hope we know what to do to fix that. We won’t win games without being able to complete forward passes, because once defenses figure out we only have a run game, they will stack the box just like Arkansas did on saturday.
We do have a decent run game, on saturday Dyer, McCalebb and Mason all averaged over 4 yards a carry, but when the offense was in a situation to pass they pretty much crapped the bed every single time. Trotter completed 6 passes out of 19 attempts. SIX! How on earth can our pass game be this poor? I don’t just blame Trotter for it, not in the slightest. Several of our receivers had stone hands, including my favorite player DeAngelo Benton, a man who I once thought could put it all together this season and become one of our best receivers, someone who could become our number 2 option at that position, but how wrong I was. He had several chances to make some big catches and he just didn’t make them. The pass blocking was also pretty bad, the offensive line is yet to put together a decent game and that is a big worry going forward.
Yesterday was the first time we saw extended play of the much heralded true-freshman Kiehl Frazier, who completed 2 for 4 attempts, for 18 yards including two interceptions. I don’t worry as much about Kiehl, because he is only a freshman and he is bound to make these early mistakes. Trotter’s numbers weren’t that much better, in fact they were pretty awful considering he had the majority of the snaps. He has been in the system for 4 years and he hasn’t proven to me that he deserves to start in the SEC.
It’s clear that Kiehl isn’t ready to start, but at this point what is the harm in giving Mosely a shot? I’ve heard some ramblings that he has and hasn’t decided to transfer when the season rolls out, but the season is already half-way over and what more harm could it do to give him a shot? Arkansas does not, by any means have a competitive defense which is why it’s worrying, how will Trotter do against the likes of LSU and Alabama?
Dyer had a nice game again, rushing 21 times for 112 yards and touchdown. He looked good, and there is no doubt that he has serious talent. Onterrio McCalebb is becoming another semi-weapon on offense. He had 13 carries for 91 yards as well as 3 catches for 28 yards out of the backfield.
Defensively, we weren’t perfect but I did see improvement. Giving up 38 was better than giving up the 43 that we did last year, or the 44 from the year before, and besides the Joe Adams 93 yard run the rush defense looked better. Eltoro Freeman played his best game of the season, racking up 7 tackles including 2 for-loss. He looked good at middle-linebacker when Holland was out injured and that is definitely good to see, since Freeman hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations since he got here, but if he could bring out his absolute best in the last 6-7 games of the season that can only help the defense. We did get some pressure on Tyler Wilson but not enough consistent pressure for him to make mistakes, besides the fumble he committed after Corey Lemonier forced the brown egg out of his grasp. Lemonier is coming on well, and I can’t wait for him to reach his full potential. the guy could become a serious play-maker when he plays more consistent.
I don’t like bashing our players because they are only college kids playing a game, I don’t like getting animated about it but I want to voice my opinions and speak about what the issues are with this team, there always has to be something right? I like giving players their props if they play well and even with scoring 14 and giving up 38 there were still some good things to talk about.
We are still rebuilding, and we are still trying to figure out several positions but we aren’t terrible. We are half-way through the year and the season can still be salvaged. We have the opportunity to make things right this week against Florida, a game in which we must simply have to win. I hope we will have Blake back this week, as he is obviously our biggest weapon through the air, but I still hope another man can step up and become a second option at that position.
Hopefully the coaches now know what to do and how to fix things, and that they will make the necessary changes for us to be a better football team in the long-run. Keep positive, because we just simply have to at this point.