(Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
While looking ahead at the upcoming schedule and reflecting on Mike Bobo's play calling, it suddenly dawned on me.
We must be saving Richard Samuel for this brutal stretch that begins at Arkansas Saturday night—saving him because the coaches know we are going to need him.
Think about it. We have Arkansas away, Arizona State, LSU, Tennessee away and Vandy before an week off.
Given Caleb King's ongoing hamstring issues and his penchant for breaking everything to the outside, Richard is our only running back with the ability and desire to pound the rock right at the heart of the opposing defense.
The coaching staff has to know our goals for the season are not attainable if we do not start winning the time of possession war. Perhaps there is a method to Mike Bobo's madness.
Sure, we would all love to see Samuel carry the ball 25 times a game, but how many games in a row can he do that?
Have the coaches outsmarted us all? Have they saved the Crusher from Cartersville for the games we are going to need him most?
The defense surely will not be able to stay on the field as much as it has in the first two games. Fatigue was obvious at the close of the Carolina game.
Given Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino's point-scoring past, and weeks if not months to prepare for Willie Martinez's bend but don't break bunch, is this Arkansas the game we ride Richard?
It is easy to understand the staff's desire to keep feeding the likes of A.J. Green, and the lightning fast Branden Smith, especially after a 41-point performance. But the risk-reward of quick strikes ultimately places your defense on the field more often than not.
A win is a win, but I cannot imagine the coaches are looking to get into another shootout in Fayettville.
My prediction for this week is a lot less spread/shotgun, a healthy dose of Samuel out of the I formation, and a lot of play action passes to A.J. Green, of course.