Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
QB Brandon Allen is mobbed by teammates after running for a score.
See Signs of Life From Secondary
The last three games have been rough, and last week's performance at Florida should be embarrassing for the unit.
The secondary gave up 240 yards passing to Gators' quarterback Tyler Murphy, who, before being forced to play after Jeff Driskel was lost for the season, had made just one start and never completed a pass at the collegiate level. In fact, Murphy was primarily used as the scout team quarterback. But he had no problem against the Hogs secondary, completing 16-of-22 passes for three touchdowns and no picks.
The unit will once again have a big task, this time with Connor Shaw. He's been efficient all season, passing for seven touchdowns and zero interceptions to go along with 927 yards. He's also a threat to run it, ranking second on the team with 282 yards.
It hurts losing Will Hines, most likely for the remainder of the season with a broken arm, but South Carolina won't have sympathy. The secondary needs to have guys step up and make plays, or it will be in for another long day.
Protect Brandon Allen
Though there's been some negative publicity around Clowney, if he plays, he'll remain a prime threat to create chaos in the backfield. That is a big if, though.
If Clowney isn't able to go, the Razorbacks offensive line's task will still be tough, though much less stressful. It still would have to deal with defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles and end Chaz Sutton. Quarles leads the team with four sacks and five tackles for loss, while Sutton has recorded two sacks and 4.5 TFL.
The Gamecocks are tied for 21st in the nation with 2.80 sacks per game. The Hogs are tied for 16th in sacks allowed a game at 0.83. Something has to give, and for a struggling quarterback, Brandon Allen will need time in the pocket to find his receivers.
Return to Basics
The Razorbacks fell behind early in the third quarter against Florida by 17, and while it did call for more passing plays, nearly a full half is plenty of time to come back from that deficit and still run the ball. There was a 14-play disparity between the number of running (29) and passing (43) plays called.
Arkansas had some success against a stout Gators' rush defense in the first half on 20 attempts, but fell behind. As stated, it's understandable that the Hogs began throwing more in the second half because of the scoreboard, but running the ball just nine times? It put a ton of pressure on Allen to make throws and he struggled mightily, completing just 41.9 percent of his passes.
This isn't an offense built for the air-raid attack. There are two All-SEC caliber backs in the backfield in freshman Alex Collins and sophomore Jonathan Williams.
Though they both had modest games last week, both averaged four yards or more a carry, which is good considering the Gators were giving up less than three yards per rush. Collins is ninth in the FBS with 651 yards on the ground through six games and has been one of the best backs in the country. Williams has been no slouch, ranking 25th with 503 yards to his credit.
This is a running team, so Arkansas needs to get back to their roots and give Collins and Williams the ball against South Carolina.