Arkansas moves ahead of Tennessee this week, taking 11th place in the SEC rushing offense numbers. The Hogs were averaging 113.7 yards a game but gained 197 against Ole Miss to move up to 125.57.
Auburn leads the league at 303.3 yards a game, followed by Mississippi State at 219.25 and Ole Miss at 211.14.
The Rebels could get nothing going in the first half against Fayetteville. As noted earlier Houston Nutt called it the team’s worst half of blocking. Yes, the offensive line is young, but they have shown an ability to at least protect Jeremiah Masoli enough to let him get out of the pocket and make plays, throwing on the run, reading defenses and scrambling, etc.
Nutt may need to adjust some play-calling with more Masoli free-lancing in the first half and on first downs.
When the Rebels had the ball at the Arkansas 3 late in the first half Brandon Bolden lost 2 yards on a Wild Rebel play, Masoli lost 1 on an option left and Jeff Scott gained 1 on a run right. The receivers were not involved.
That being said, Masoli and the offense made enough plays to win, defense and special teams gave up too many big plays.
Here’s defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix after the game:
(On Arkansas RB Knile Davis)
He’s an aggressive runner and a big part of their offense. We helped him look really good today with a lot of missed tackles.
We don’t fit gaps right and don’t tackle with proper fundamentals, some of those runs that were 6- and 8-yard gains, turned into 20 and 30 or whatever they were.
We couldn’t afford to give them anything. We knew they were a high-powered offense and would make some plays.
In order to beat any offense you have to tackle well, and that’s something that we didn’t do. It’s something we put a lot of emphasis on and a lot of work into, and it’s really discouraging to me at this point in the season.
(On more successful pass rush in second half)
Our kids made a bigger commitment, and we brought more pressure. In some obvious passing situations we were able to let them pin their ears back.
Again, the thing we didn’t do well was we didn’t tackle, and it cost us down the stretch.