RazOrbaX Hot Points Checkup post-Tennessee with flashback to 2006
FAYETTEVILLE - On Nov. 11, 2006, the 11th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks took on the No. 13 Tennessee Volunteers. The HOGS historically have not had much luck against the Volunteers. Their only victories were a stunning upset in 1992 over the fourth-ranked Vols in Knoxville, and the Stoerner-to-Lucas redemption game in 1999. ESPN Gameday showed up as did a record crowd for Senior Day 2006. Arkansas did not disappoint as Darren McFadden made his Heisman push by leading the Razorbacks to a 31-14 victory over a game-but-injury-riddled Tennessee team.
Tyler Wilson is having a great 2011 season and had a good game Saturday. It was not a great game, but it was a good game. He missed Joe Adams wide open in the second quarter. The play was a bootleg to the left and Wilson was escorted by pulling guard Grant Cook. There was no pressure as even Cook had no one to block. Wilson needed to stop, set his feet and hit Adams for a 71-yard highlight touchdown. On the run, he threw high and behind Adams.
Luckily, on the next play, Dennis Johnson took it to the house. It was actually the second time Arkansas had run the play for a touchdown. The first time, Ronnie Wingo's 20-yard run was negated by a block in the back at the 3-yard line. The HOGS lined up on the play with a receiver wide right, a tight end and two slot receivers to the left. Johnson was behind Wilson in the "shot" formation, Arkansas' version of the pistol. The left guard and the center pull with the tight end blocking down on the defensive end. Wilson actually pivots from right to his left and hands off to Johnson who is running straight for the left tackle hole. He then veers to the left following Alvin Bailey. Bailey cuts the outside linebacker, and Johnson splits the middle linebacker and the corner back a yard short of the first down. Five more yards down the field he blows past the safety as Julian Horton supplies the freeing block. Johnson cruises the last 30 yards for the TD and a 21-0 Arkansas lead. Dennis had 97 yards on just 11 carries to lead the 254-yard rushing night. Arkansas was balanced with 254 rushing yards and 245 passing yards. The numbers would not have been so close if Wilson had hit Adams the play before!
Tennessee won the time of possession by almost 15 minutes (37:06 to 22:54) and did put up 376 yards. However, 13:05 and 120 yards were on two possessions. The first was on the Volunteers first drive that ended with a fake field goal. Jerry Franklin was in great position on the play picking up the backside tight end. The second drive ended in Tramain Thomas' interception at the goal line. It was a very big play as it killed any hopes Tennessee had of hanging around.
One of the things the Arkansas defense did to break tendencies was to fake Jerico Nelson blitzing from the outside after lining up in coverage on the inside slot. Most of the night he acted as if he was coming only to back off in coverage. The defensive line did a good job of getting a push most of the night and filling the gaps. The Razorbacks did bring several corner blitzes (mostly on running plays), also a tendency breaker. Tevin Mitchel continues to play well as a freshman in probably the toughest defensive position, cornerback. He has very good ball instincts and just missed an interception on Tennessee's 50-yard completion on their only TD drive.
HOT POINT CHECK UP
SCORE 30! Arkansas is averaging 37.7 points a game and only has been held under 30 only twice this year. Hit the average and everyone goes home happy. 49 points will do just fine! The most points Arkansas has scored against the Volunteers.
SHARP IN THE PASSING GAME 2! Like South Carolina that lofty ranking will be severely tested by the SEC's best passing offense. Wilson had an average day throwing, missing Adams deep on a would-be 71-yard touchdown and over throwing Hamilton down the middle.
DO NOT HELP THEM! Take care of the ball and give the orange no hope. One interception in the first quarter and one fumble while trying to run out the clock.
CONTROL THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE! The Volunteers just cannot run the ball. At 87 yards per game, only two teams are worse. Tennessee had 138 rushing but 45 was on one play after it was 35-7. It was their longest run of the season.
COVER, COVER, COVER! Everyone in the secondary just needs to do their jobs and not let any of the Volunteers get behind them. Only happened once and the ball should have been intercepted.
PLAY FAST, NOT WRECKLESS! Do not overrun plays, do not miss cutback lanes and be mindful of every trick play in the book. If the Razorbacks play fast and sharp, Tennessee will have to be wreckless. Arkansas covered all the tricks and played fast.
CONTINUE THE EXCELLENCE! Tennessee is very good at kick coverage so this will be a test for the HOGS. It was a return to the right but it was all Joe Adams. It did cause Tennessee to kick away both on punts and away from Johnson on their two kickoffs.
UP NEXT: MISSISSIPPI STATE
A 42-point win over any SEC opponent is awesome. To do it against Tennessee is even better. Now for the seniors' last home game. Mississippi State took the week off to get well and work out some of the things that have plagued it during this disappointing year. The Bulldogs played better in the loss to Alabama than they have in most of their wins. MSU has never won a football game in Arkansas, and Little Rock needs to be its typical rowdy self for the 2:30 p.m. CBS national telecast. Lofty goals are still in reach. Arkansas must take care of business. They came close to that four-quarter game Saturday, and they will need to be even closer against the Bulldogs. GO HOGS GO!