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Arkansas vs UTEP Advanced Stats Review

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Welcome to the Hog Chart

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

This season I will be putting together a "Hog Chart" showing the stats that are not in the usual ESPN, NCAA sources. Using data such as pass direction, run direction, number of pass blockers, pass rushers, broken tackles, and formation/personnel, I will track and recap each game.

The Razorbacks put up impressive numbers in every area imaginable against UTEP in Week 1. Lets first take a look at success rate. Success Rate puts a value on whether each play gained a set number of yards to be determined a positive play, then it is calculated as a percentage. So for example on the first line it shows all the plays while the game was close (withing 28 points third Q) that gained more than 50 % yards needed on 1st down, 70% on second and 100% on third.

SUCCESS RATE (WHAT'S THIS?) ARKANSAS
All (close) 65.50%
Rushing (close) 56.30%
Passing (close) 76.90%
Standard Downs 75.00%
Passing Downs 62.50%

Anything above 46% is considered a solid success rate and against UTEP you can see they far surpassed that number. These are not however adjusted for opponent strength but it gives a good sense of how things played out.

Hogs in the Air:

Allen Utep Passing

Dan Enos adjusted to what the UTEP defense was showing with single coverage on the outside and stacking the box. Allen was highly efficient and had one of the more impressive games of his career. He did however stay in the game later than most starters of top 25 teams against lower level competition, but his performance was stellar nonetheless. Getting some help with short passes that turned into big gains helped his stats tremendously, especially the two screens to Drew Morgan and Jared Cornelius that went for touchdowns.

Positives: Brandon Allen's accuracy, no drops by wide receivers. Pass protection using more backs and extra max protect keeping Allen on his feet.

Hogs on the ground:

The running game struggled a little early with UTEP stacking the box. But thanks to a couple of long runs by Alex Collins, they ended up with 182 yards total on 34 carries.

Garbage time explanation: "Garbage-time plays and possessions have been filtered out of the calculations. The criteria for "garbage time" are as follows: a game is not within 28 points in the first quarter, 24 points in the second quarter, 21 points in the third quarter, or 16 points in the fourth quarter." from Football Outsiders.

This game obviously had a large amount of "garbage time" as Arkansas went up by 24 after a UTEP turnover early in the third quarter. Numbers in parentheses include garbage time stats.

rushing splitsUTEP

It was pretty apparent in this game against UTEP that running between the tackles and taking deep shots from play action was what OC Dan Enos wanted to accomplish. A key stat in this category was rushing frequency on first down at 57.1%. In past seasons even against the lower level teams this was up around 75%, mixing it up on first down and throwing deep will soften up that coverage opening some running lanes for the backs. In SEC play, being able to do that will make life a little easier on this offense.

Formation chart Utep

We did see a few new wrinkles in formations by Dan Enos, and the question is whether this will be game plan specific or an overall trend of his offense. Losing Jonathan Williams has probably shifted this offense more toward a 1 back game plan where Kody Walker rotates in spots. In this game, Enos put a 1 back 3 wide set (1 TE) on the field over 30% of the time.

A couple of other notes on formations were:

  • TE Jeremy Sprinkle being used in the backfield as a Fullback/HBack. Caught a couple of nice short passes that he turned into big gains.
  • Using Dominique Reed in a 2 back 2 TE 1WR set where he draws man coverage.

DEFENSE

The Arkansas defense had some struggles, but did not send a lot of extra defenders. Robb Smith used several different packages so it was not purely base defense. There was not a lot of pressure on third downs and the front four was not able to get to the quarterback regulary but UTEP was also relying on a quick passing game to get rid of the ball in a hurry.

Arkansas allowed 7 broken tackles and 66 yards after contact.

Arkansas had 10 tackles for loss.

In 11 Wildcat plays with Kavika Johnson at QB UTEP gained 10 yards in the first half and -1 in the second half.

When ARK Passed When UTEP Passed
% Blitz: 70% 30%
Avg. Pass Rushers 5 4.3
Passing (no blitz) 5-5, 68  yards, 0 sacks, 11-14 125 YDS INT 0 sacks
13.6 YDS per att. 8.9 YDS per att.
Passing (blitz) 9-15, 240 YDS, 0 sacks 4-6 15 YDS 1 Sack
16 yds. per att. 2.5 yds. per att.
Reason for INC/INT ARK UTEP
Poor Throw 6 2
Good Defense 0 2
WR Fault 0 0
QB Hit 0 2

Play of the game: Drew Morgan Bubble Screen/ Run play combo

Really have to like seeing this kind of play for the Razorbacks. Brandon Allen, a 5th year senior, has the experience to read a defense and get his team into the right play. On this he makes the decision to throw the quick screen where it is 2 on 2. Everyone else thinks this is the standard inside zone run play to Collins and they block accordingly. The defense has to play the run and cannot react to the quick release outside. Great execution gives Morgan the chance to make a defender miss in space. Dial up more of these kind of plays in SEC play!

This game was solid all around with a few missed tackles by the defense. Against the style of play UTEP brought and a good running back in Aaron Jones a few of those can be overlooked. As the quality of opponent increases those mistakes will have to be cleaned up.

Seeing some players like Drew Morgan who have put in a lot of work and been through the ups and downs be able to make some big plays on offense was the biggest positive.

Football is back! Check back for the same breakdown after the Toledo game.