The most important aspect of this drive from the LSU game was consistency. It used all the elements that this team needs to be successful: the inside the tackle hard nosed run, play action passing, short yardage passing to the tight ends (Hunter Henry), and toughness on the goal line. The LSU game ended on a couple of less than stellar plays, but this drive shows what can be when things are going right.
#1 Drive of the 2013 Season
After an LSU TD that put them up 7-0, Arkansas answered with a long drive and TD. Korliss Marshall's Kickoff return TD was called back for holding which resulted in the Razorbacks starting at their own 14 yard line.
1st Play: 1st and 10 at ARK 14: Jonathan Williams rush for 8 yards to the ARK 22
Pro I twins Left: Williams on Lead ISO play. Kiero Small delivers an impressive block on the LSU linebacker that springs Williams and gives Jim Chaney a huge variety of options on 2nd and short.
2nd play: 2nd and 2 at ARK 22: Brandon Allen pass complete to Keon Hatcher for 43 yards to the LSU 35 for a 1ST Down
Chaney calls the same formation to opposite side. As any good rushing team would do he calls play action, and the LSU safety bites on the pitch fake to the outside, leaving Hatcher wide open over the middle.
3rd Play: 1st and 5 at the LSU 30 (Arkansas accepted an offsides penalty against LSU): Jonathan Williams rush for 1 yard to the LSU 29
Not much for Williams after the penalty, but the offense is on schedule regardless.
4th Play: 2nd and 4 at the LSU 29: Brandon Allen pass complete to Keon Hatcher for 8 yards to the LSU 21 for a 1ST Down.
Two back pistol formation: Hatcher is again able to get open and pick up the 1st down when Allen recognizes the blitz off the edge. Good protection, good read.
5th Play: 1st and 10 at LSU 21: Alex Collins rush for 6 yards to the LSU 15
Alex Collins in the single back runs behind a 3 TE set to pick up 6 yards and again put the Razorbacks offense in a manageable 2nd down situation. The play is the outside power with Travis Swanson pulling from center to lead through to the LB. David Hurd at OT pulls as well to kick out the End with the help of the extra TE Jeremy Sprinkle. This play was a good example of the athleticism of Swanson and why he was drafted in the 3rd round.
6th Play: 2nd and 4 at LSU 15: Alex Collins rush for 2 yards to the LSU 13
Chaney elects to call the same power play with 3 TEs where Collins is only able to pick up a short gain. This time the LSU MLB shoots inside and Swanson misses the block, which was rare but the Razorbacks are still sitting at 3rd and short.
7th Play: 3rd and 2 at LSU 13: Brandon Allen pass complete to Hunter Henry for 7 yards to the LSU 6 for a 1ST Down
Chaney calls one of his go-to plays the arrow route to Hunter Henry out of a 3 TE set. Hatcher draws the corner inside with a curl. This play epitomizes the philosophy that they are trying to get to on a consistent basis. Take the easy completions on 3rd and short when the defense is forced to load the box and add defenders to the run gaps.
Next: Again Brandon Allen is able to draw a crucial offside penalty against Anthony Johnson that allows Arkansas to start from the 3-yard line instead of the 6.
8th Play: 1st and Goal at LSU 3: Kiero Small rush for 3 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
From there Kiero is able to bulldoze his way in for a touchdown out of the Heavy HOG or whatever you want to call it/ direct snap/ wildcat. This formation basically used every offensive lineman on the roster.
No doubt the boneheaded offsides penalty by LSU helped this drive, but taken as a complete series it was one of the best of the season. Brandon Allen and the offense were able to "stay ahead of the sticks" as the saying goes. The running game was physical, play action was used in short yardage situations to allow easy completions for first down. Then once inside the red zone the true identity of the bruising downhill power game was called on to get the ball in the end zone. In 2014 not every series will look like this, but in my opinion it should be the template for expectations.
What drives or series in Conference play from 2013 in your opinion reflect the ideal? Leave some comments in the discussion below.