Hogs: Coaches hope for fewer drops, defensive busts on Fan Day
FAYETTEVILLE - Fans can freely view part of Arkansas' football scrimmage at 1 p.m. Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The scrimmage prefaces Fan Day starting at 4 p.m. at the Walker Indoor Practice where players and coaches chat with fans, sign autographs and pose for photographs.
“I thought we were pretty good (last Saturday),” offensive coordinator Dan Enos says. “We've really challenged the (starters) especially, that we need to run the ball more consistently. I think they did a tremendous job protecting the passer, but we weren't real happy with how we ran the football. And I think we had six dropped balls. Two of them were explosive plays, three of them were on third downs. So those are game-changing type drops.”
Enos listed the flaws that an offense can’t abide.
“Our formula is you can't have penalties, turnovers, sacks and drops,” Enos says. “(Last) Saturday we had a couple of penalties we can get rid of and dropped passes that we've got to fix. But the good news was, knock on wood, we didn't turn the ball over and they protected the quarterback well. So we did some of it pretty good.”
The running game, particularly last season’s too often inability to convert key goal-line and short-yardage situations, is under constant emphasis.
“Every day is just being physical running the football,” Enos said. “Coach B has put us in a lot of situations of ones vs. ones where it gets very competitive. You've got to have that SEC strain. We're not there yet, but we're certainly moving toward that.”
While the offense feels last year’s heat to run better on short yardage the defense feels last year’s heat to stop the run.
“We emphasized (last Saturday) that we tackled extremely well,” Rhoads says. “We’d like to have our missed tackle numbers at less than 10 a game. We played roughly 137 snaps so if you halved that we were about eight missed tackles for the game and we missed 16 for the scrimmage. First time out that was really pleasing to see that take place.”
Still some missed tackles like freshman running back Chase Hayden springing a 47-yard TD must be corrected, Rhoads said.
“We had some busts that surprised me a little bit,” Rhoads says. “I think the lesson learned was the first scrimmage was like the first time out under the lights. You can get a little bit too excited and a little bit too hyped up as the kids were and forget to have your eyes in the right location and your mind where it needs to be every single snap. They understood that quite quickly and I think we’ll see a significant drop in the busts this week.”