The Hogs rolled UAB in surprisingly easy fashion, cruising to a 35-0 halftime lead while scoring touchdowns on all five of their offensive possessions. UAB had 29 passing yards for the entire game until Jeremiah Briscoe threw a 33-yard touchdown with under a minute left.
Still, there are some good things we can glean from the data. I threw the second half data out for most calculations. Lest someone call me a hypocrite for posting last week's second half data (with an asterisk) and disregarding the second half data this week, I encourage you to look up the difference between "UAB with a backup quarterback" and "SEC road game."
|Pass Downs SR||42.86%||0.00%|
UAB actually ran the ball fairly well, although they called just seven runs, and the four that were successful including a third-and-short and a three-yard gain on second-and-four. So the sample size is probably a little small. Arkansas was equally successful in both running and passing, and moved the ball pretty much at will. Sebastian Tretola's touchdown pass is not included, because it's technically special teams.
Let's run back through the keys to the game laid out in the preview:
Key #1: Make all extra points and field goals and average at least 38 yards per punt.
STATUS: ACCOMPLISHED WITH STYLE. Adam McFain is the kicker. Why anyone else has kicked this season is beyond me. McFain's 49-yarder had room to spare. I guess he's not a good practice player, but that sounds pretty ridiculous for a kicker. Toby Baker's first - and likely only - punt of the season netted just one yard, but the message was received by Sam Irwin-Hill, who boomed a 54-yard punt (net of 50) in his triumphant return.
Key #2: Call fewer than 10 passes from directly under center.
STATUS: MIXED. Okay, so the actual goal didn't happen, but we got enough data to draw some more conclusions. From shotgun (in the first half), Brandon Allen was 6 of 7 for 65 yards and a touchdown. Under center, he was 7 of 10 for 107 with a sack. Here's how it looked:
|Plays||Yards||Yds/Play||Comp %||Success Rt||Sack Rt|
Allen's been on a tear from shotgun. Over the Georgia game and the first half of the UAB game, he's now 29 of 40 (72.5 percent) for 298 yards with four touchdowns, two interceptions, and only one sack. Over that same period, from under center he is 12 of 22 for 173 yards with no touchdowns and three sacks.
The shotgun passing game will be needed against all remaining SEC opponents that have elite defensive fronts, which is - *checks schedule* - everyone else. Fantastic. In case you are wondering, the worst defensive fronts in the SEC belong to Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Florida.... the five SEC teams Arkansas doesn't play.
Key #3: Go at least +1 in turnover margin and turn it over no more than once.
STATUS: MIXED. Arkansas had this one at +1 (Tevin Mitchel's interception) until the fourth quarter, when D.J. Dean's inexplicable decision to field a bouncing punt between two defenders became the worst decision made by a Dean since Howard Dean's infamous "YEARRRRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHH" cost him the 2004 Democratic primary election.
Key #4: Throw at least 10 total passes to Hunter Henry and A.J. Derby
STATUS: N/A (unnecessary). This one would only be necessary if Arkansas' offense needed to score a lot of points. Rather, UAB's offense was completely inept, so the Hogs didn't need to focus that many passes to Henry and Derby. That said, Arkansas isn't going to beat Mississippi State or anyone else without the tight ends creating mismatches and getting targets.
|Targets||Catches||Yards||Catch Rt||Success Rt||Yds/Target|
Again, Keon Hatcher remains a safety target, but his yards per target numbers have been disappointing this year. Much of these is because Hatcher, a natural flanker or slot receiver, is drawing the defense's best coverages due to Arkansas lacking a dominant X-WR.
Key #5: Find a second receiver.
STATUS: UNSUCCESSFUL. From watching the game and confirming by tracking the targets afterward, Arkansas didn't give much effort to this. Drew Morgan had a nice catch, Kendrick Edwards got a red zone target, and Cody Hollister, Demetrius Wilson, and Jared Cornelius all rotated into the action here and there. There didn't seem to be a sense of urgency put to finding another reliable target.
Overall, my main takeaway was that this was a confidence booster for the defense after a rough performance against Georgia. The offense did well and some good things happened - the line protected better against a UAB passrush that has actually been pretty decent this year, Allen threw from under center more efficiently, and Alex Collins turned in a nice game and hopefully is getting back on track - but the best thing for both sides of the ball was probably the rest factor. Brooks Ellis and Henre' Toliver, both banged up, got to rest and should be 100 percent next week. Jonathan Williams, who will probably be relied upon for 20 touches a game from here on out, needed only 18 carries and was able to yield not only to Collins but also Kody Walker, who looked good again.
Next up is the number 1 team in the nation on the road. It's back to the grind.