As we make our way through the offseason, we thought it might be fun to look back on last fall and count down the best drives of the year. Here's what we came up with for #3.
ARKANSAS VS MISSOURI Week 12
Hogs pummel Missouri on the ground and grind out the clock.
DRIVE: 12 PLAYS, 79 YARDS, 5:30 RESULT: TOUCHDOWN
SCOREBOARD: MIZ 3 ARK 14
The Arkansas offense took the field ahead 14-3 with a little over six minutes remaining in the first half. So far, Missouri had been completely unable to move the ball offensively even with some great field position off a turnover.
Dan Enos undoubtedly went into the drive with the thought of chewing some clock, knowing his offense would get the ball back to start the second half. The Arkansas OC called a great series and ended the drive with a double down effect, putting Missouri on the ropes.
(6:09 - 2nd) Corey Fatony kickoff for 63 yds , Eric Hawkins return for 19 yds to the Ark 21
1st and 10 at ARK 21 (6:09 - 2nd) Alex Collins run for 2 yds to the Ark 23
TE #83 Jeremy Sprinkle motioned into the backfield, creating a two-back I look. The cornerback for Missouri reacted in what looked like an automatic call versus this look to slide down to show pressure from the edge. The front for the Missouri D-line consisted of a shade nose and a 2 Tech to the strong side. The rolled down corner gave 8 in the box against 7 blockers.
The play call was just a lead iso where RB #3 Collins could take multiple paths and cut off the block of the H-back. Nothing fancy with the design and running into an 8 man box- pretty dire situation- but it sets up play action later on.
Collins lowered his shoulders to pick up a couple of yards and get a positive gain.
2nd and 8 at ARK 23 (6:09 - 2nd) Brandon Allen pass complete to Dominique Reed for 9 yds to the Ark 32 for a 1ST down
The next play used the same personnel and two-back I look as before but brought twin WRs to the left. #87 Dominique Reed and #80 Drew Morgan line up in reduced splits which would alert a threat for the quick out or shallow crossers. Missouri stayed in the same front vs this look.
At the snap the O-line for Arkansas fired off in what appeared to be an outside run to the right, and Brandon Allen made a decent but not great fake to Alex Collins. The route combination was a levels concept where Morgan threatened a deeper corner route, Henry on a dig on the backside from his TE position and Reed ran an out at the sticks. Missouri did not bite on the fake in what looked like a quarter’s coverage, but gave up the first down. The corner spotted Morgan cutting into his deep ¼ and turned his hips giving Reed enough space to make the catch and pick up the first down. Pretty good execution here all around and solid throw by Allen.
1st and 10 at ARK 32 (6:09 - 2nd) Alex Collins run for 6 yds to the Ark 38
Arkansas went back to the 2-back I once again showing a similar formation. #80 Morgan motioned inside to crack on the End at the snap. In 2015 Enos asked his wide receiver group to come into the box and take on larger DEs and LBs on a regular basis.
The play call turned out to be the basic power with the backside guard #73 Sebastian Tretola wrapped around the center to make a key block at the point of attack. The power play with the fullback shoulder to shoulder with the pulling guard opened up a big hole. Quick feet by Tretola and solid down blocks by #72 Frank Ragnow and the center Mitch Smothers set this play up for a 6 yd gain and a multitude of options for the play caller on 2nd down.
2nd and 4 at ARK 38 (3:50 - 2nd) Alex Collins run for 1 yd. to the Ark 39
Missouri sold out with pressure from the edge and an 8-man box shutting the play down to a short gain.
3rd and 3 at ARK 39 (3:30 - 2nd) Brandon Allen run for 6 yds to the Ark 45 for a 1ST down
After Missouri sold out on the last run play, Allen rolled out a shotgun trips formation.
Missouri walked the Mike LB out on the edge and showed blitz.
The play call was kind of surprising, a QB power with RG Ragnow pulling around a pinning technique by the RT. Behind a lead block by Kody Walker, Allen picked up just enough for the first down. Kind of a risky play call but the numbers were in their favor. Trips to the left gave a 5 on 5 game to the right and Allen had enough speed to pick up the yards.
1st and 10 at ARK 45 (2:40 - 2nd) Kody Walker run for 2 yds. to the Ark 47
At midfield with a little over three minutes remaining the Hogs mix it up with a one back two tight end set. Not much room to be found, but Walker fights for some tough yards against another run blitz and drives for 2 yards.
2nd and 8 at ARK 47 (6:09 - 2nd) Brandon Allen pass complete to Drew Morgan for 7 yds. to the Missouri 40
Enos kept the one back formation on the next play but set up in a bunch formation that placed Morgan on the outside.
At the snap it was obvious more pressure from the edge was on the way. Arkansas however had the perfect play call with a play action bootleg away from the corner blitz. Allen set up behind Sprinkle who stayed in to pass block and easily found Morgan on an 8 yard out. Unfortunately, the Missouri defender was able to keep Morgan from picking up the first down.
3rd and 1 at MIZ 46 (2:00 - 2nd) Brandon Allen run for no gain to the Missouri 46
Short yardage and the play call was a QB sneak, where Allen only needed to get a couple inches and it looked like he had it only to get a horrendous spot. Regardless, this was not the best play call/ execution of the drive and brought up the key play of the drive.
4th and 1 at MIZ 46- Key Play of drive (1:38 - 2nd) Kody Walker run for 6 yds to the Missouri 40 for a 1ST down
Failing to convert here would have allowed Missouri to take over with a shot at cutting the lead to a field goal at the half or at the very least going into the locker room only down 11.
Arkansas lined up in a two tight set with two backs behind Brandon Allen on the pivotal 4th down play.
At the snap Walker took the toss behind the FB Kendrick Jackson who threw a solid block on the corner. Up front, Hunter Henry blocks down on a filling linebacker and Dan Skipper kicks the End out who is responsible for contain to that side. The "power lead toss" play picked up the needed yards and refreshed the drive. Nice vision and blocking up front along with a savvy play call where the defense was stacked in a 5 man front.
1st and 10 at MIZ 40
(1:16 - 2nd) Brandon Allen pass incomplete to Dominique Reed, broken up by Kenya Dennis
After picking up the big 4th down play Enos called play action and Allen looked to hit Reed over the middle on a 10 yd dig. The Missouri coverage knocked it down, but gave the secondary second thoughts on crashing down when the were faced with run keys.
2nd and 10 at MIZ 40
(1:06 - 2nd) Brandon Allen pass complete to Drew Morgan for 15 yds. to the Missouri 25 for a 1ST down
Looking to take advantage of the mismatch in the secondary, Arkansas lines up in a 2 back shotgun set with both Collins and Walker beside the QB. Twin WRs in Drew Morgan and Reed are split to the left creating a situation where Missouri has a freshmen LB on the veteran WR Morgan.
On the back side, Sprinkle is set in line and at the snap stays in to pass block. This creates max protect blocking up front with a half roll to the field side. The pass play only had a two receiver high low route with both options running outs. Morgan easily beat the LB who ran with the vertical route and could not recover. Another nice play call setting up a first down inside the red zone with under a minute left.
1st and 10 at MIZ 25
(0:39 - 2nd) Alex Collins run for 25 yds for a TD, (Cole Hedlund KICK)
At the 25 yard line the Hog's show a 2 back I set with Alex Collins set up behind Walker. Missouri is in their base 4-3 with the linebacker walking up to the TE side at the snap. The play call is one that became the go-to play in 2015, the lead draw.
The tackles and TE take a pass drop step further enticing the blitzing linebacker and rushing DE's to come upfield. Skipper is able to get just enough of the crashing end to keep him from getting to the back. This also allows Walker to easily lead onto the middle backer and puts the shifty Collins one on one with the SS. After a couple of great cuts, Collins was able to get in the end zone for six. Perfect execution of a perfectly time play call against the defense that was selling out against the run from the edge.
This drive, with a 4th down conversion and a couple big shots downfield, showed that even in a methodical offense there was some room for a calculated roll of the dice from time to time. You can not script a more perfectly executed drive against a defense that is stacking the box and sending extra defenders. Arkansas knew the Missouri offensive game was stumbling and this drive made a comeback even more impossible.
Check back for #2 the 3rd OT TD vs Auburn