Arkansas was fortunate to go into halftime up a touchdown after Martrell Spaight's interception set up an easy score to overcome the normally-disastrous double reverse fumble.
That set up the Hogs to have the ball up a score to begin the half, and the drive proved to be monumental for Arkansas, who was forced to overcome multiple 3rd downs and a 4th down. Here's how the Razorbacks moved the ball right down the field and went up two scores, never to be seriously threatened again.
1st and 10 at ARK 25: Brandon Allen pass complete to Demetrius Wilson for 12 yds to the Ark 37 for a 1ST down
Leading 28-21 the Razorbacks lined up in a shotgun formation with Alex Collins in the backfield. This play is the definition of throwing when they want to instead of when they are forced. Collins makes a good block on the edge in pass protection and Allen makes the perfect read and has an easy throw against soft coverage. All the receivers are running comeback routes looking to find an opening in the zone. When teams are expecting a run on first down and the corner has a deep 1/3 or 1/4 it makes these 5-6 yard gains easy, and Wilson has the athleticism to turn it into much more.
1st and 10 at ARK 37 Keon Hatcher run for 9 yds to the Ark 46
They come back with 2 backs and 1 TE. Tech is in a base 4-3 stack look, and is playing run, but the DE lets Hatcher get outside on the reverse. Arinze becomes the lead blocker around the edge for another big gain. He doesn't really throw much of a block, but Hatcher has the open field skills to make people miss. This play is not a trick play or gimmick, it is no different than a sweep, or counter to the outside.
2nd and 1 at ARK 46 Alex Collins run for 6 yds to the Texas Tech 48 for a 1ST down
This lead counter play puts Collins behind Tretola and Arinze leading through the down blocks of the Strongside tackle, guard and center. The Tech LBs read and fill perfectly but theres just not much they can do. Tech has 8 at the line and even send a corner late off the edge but still cant keep Collins from picking up 6.
1st and 10 at TTU 48 Jonathan Williams run for a loss of 1 yard to the Tech 49
Hard to complain about his overall performance, but Derby missed one here. He tries to go low and the DE makes a good play to avoid, and keeps Williams from getting outside. If he was able to turn the corner it could have been another big play with Skipper leading out front.
2nd and 11 at TTU 49 Jonathan Williams run for 9 yds to the Tech 40
Arkansas gets behind the chains for the first time on this drive, so what do Chaney and Bielema dial up? Just the same lead iso play they have been hammering Tech with all day, adding a small wrinkle where Hunter Henry blocks down inside on the linebacker. Williams also has the power to run through arm tackles to pick up tough yards after contact.
3rd and 2 at TTU 40 Alex Collins run for 1 yd to the Tech 39
Arkansas gets stuffed on 3rd down with all 11 Tech defenders within 5 yards of the ball.
4th and 1 at TTU 39 Jonathan Williams run for 21 yds to the Tech 18 for a 1ST down
Same formation as before, just bring in JWill and run the lead play but this time behind Cook and Kirkland. Hunter Henry makes a better block and it leaves Williams one on one with the safety. Oh yeah and Arinze destroys the corner too.
1st and 10 at TTU 18 Jonathan Williams run for 2 yds to the TexTc 16
Not much room to run as Tech sells out on the blitz.
2nd and 8 at TTU 16 Alex Collins run for 5 yds to the Tech 11
Skipper and Tretola miss on the backside but Collins still fights for 5 yards. Looked like a variation of the Wham play with Derby blocking the DT instead of a FB.
3rd and 3 at TTU 11 Alex Collins run for 5 yds to the Tech 6 for a 1ST down
Arkansas comes out in the same 2 back 3 TE look they have been showing on most of the drive. Henry and Derby are lined up on the left and the play call is the power toss. Collins looks to get outside where Skipper pulls to kick out the DE. Collins makes another signature cut and turns back up for the first down. Good blocks inside by Tretola and Hunter Henry make it possible to turn back inside
1st and Goal at TTU 6 Jonathan Williams run for 1 yd to the Tech 5
Same counter-lead play that they ran on 2nd and 1 earlier, just flipped to the other side. Kirkland pulls and leads but misses on the DE who gets off the block and makes the play.
2nd and Goal at TTU 5 Brandon Allen pass incomplete to Hunter Henry
Arkansas lines up in a 1 back set with 2 TEs, and motions Hatcher into a bunch formation. Henry is lined up on the LOS and runs a route to the corner of the endzone. Hollister runs a shallow cross that if Allen put it low could have scored. Instead Henry is unable to get a foot down. This is a good red zone play where the reverse action freezes the linebackers and enables 1 on 1 coverage. I bet we see this one again.
3rd and Goal at TTU 5 Brandon Allen run for 5 yds for a TD, (John Henson KICK)
The final play of this drive was almost a disaster. After a timeout Chaney and Bielema bring in Jared Cornelius and put him as a wing. They ran this shovel pass play late in the game against Nicholls where he was able to get a big gain. Out of the shotgun they are in a 1 back 1 TE set with Korliss Marshall as a decoy on the playaction. The Tech Dline runs right by Cornelius but Allen is not able to drop it off to him, and on his 4th pump fake decides to take off for the endzone.
ARK DRIVE TOTALS: 13 plays, 75 yards, 7:03
Not exactly how it was drawn up but Allen makes them pay for being overaggressive. This drive in my opinion sums up the philosophy that Bielema has instilled in this team. Grind it out until the other team quits or makes a mistake. In this case they just had no answer for the counter lead, and toss play. Hope we see more of this in the weeks ahead.