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Arkansas Football Film Room: Week 2 Gameplan

Fixing the run game must be the #1 priority.

Eastern Illinois v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Let’s take a look at one of the areas that will be key to getting out of Ft. Collins with a win on Saturday: the run game. Everyone paying even a slight bit of attention noticed a lack of any semblance of a run game for the Razorbacks in Wk 1. A different style of play was to be expected. Witnessing more shots down field in the passing game and a hurry up pace were no surprise, but with such an outmatched opponent the utter lack of a consistent run game was a shock.

Only amassing 80 yds on 37 carries and the longest run of 10 yards is not the type of big chunk explosive running game that Morris has built his offense on. Eastern Illinois was not really stacking the box either with mostly a 6 man look and not much pressure.

Key points from the film:

  1. ARK offense used covered WRs and TEs to block in the run game. AU and several other HUNH teams do this regularly to get better angles and allow WRs and TEs to get to the second level quicker and prevent defenders from running around blocks. It did absolutely nothing to help the run game, and on several plays the WR cracking on a LB was blown up into the ball carrier.
  2. The running backs with a slight exception of Rakeem Boyd are having a difficult time reading the zone blocking that Chad Morris uses 75% of the time. On multiple occasions Whaley plowed into a pile when a bounce or stretch was there and would of resulted in large chunks of yardage.
  3. When a play works Morris and OC Joe Craddock will run it until the opponent adjusts to stop it, then counter the adjustment. They ran split zone at least 4 times in a row on the first TD drive, and Storey pulled the last one to get down inside the 1 yard line. Split zone will likely be first on the play call sheet this week vs Colorado St. as that seemed to be the only play that had any success early.
  4. Pulling guards were way too slow. They were just unable to get out on power and counter quick enough. Some patience is needed by the back to allow time, but on several instances LG Kirby Adcock and LT Shane Clenin were slow in getting to their landmark on these plays.

As Adam mentioned one of his keys to a win over Colorado State would be attacking the edge of the defense, and getting yards out there may be tough from what we saw on film from the first week. The best scenario is that a week of work and correcting these flaws will result in some big plays. We all know that this is not the ground and pound of the former regime but a consistent threat to break away out of an inside zone, split zone, or outside run must be in the minds of every opponent.