Petrino's legacy at Arkansas hasn't been one that hog fans want to remember as one of the great first seasons of a new football coach. But the finishing touches of the Auburn Tigers "spread offense" will be put off as a result of the recent firing of their new offensive coordinator Tony Franklin. Over the past few weeks we have seen a very young Arkansas team get better and better, so is this the week where all that hard work and preparation finally pays off for these young hogs?
The first area that the hogs need to be focused on is their line-backing core. Auburn's junior running-back Ben Tate has been leading the Auburn running game with 501 yards and is currently third in SEC rushing yards. As we have seen in the past few games, Arkansas' defense has given up an average of 208 yards per game. Junior middle line backer Wendel Davis is coming off a game where he had eleven tackles, which led the team. The defensive line is also a cause for concern in this hog defense. Junior Malcolm Sheppard and Senior Antwain Robinson were supposed to be the anchor of this young hog defense, but time and time again, they are opening up holes for the opposing teams running-backs to run right through.
The second area the hogs need to be worried about is quarterback. Should it be the experienced senior quarterback, Casey Dick or the highly touted freshman from Greenwood, Tyler Wilson? It seems like whoever is taking the snaps is the one being challenged by the guy on the bench the most. Dick was supposed to be the offensive leader on this young hog offense but he isn't doing himself any favors throwing four interceptions in the past three games.
The third area the hogs need to work on is their kicking game. Can anyone in Fayetteville kick a football straight? The Razorback kicking game is about as funny as a skit by Larry the Cable Guy. In a game where defense is going to be the winning factor for Auburn, Arkansas must get points on the board whether it be touchdowns, field goals, or even a safety.
The fourth and final area that I believe the hogs need to work on is their mind-set. Going into a football game you need to block everything else out. All you need to be thinking about is winning the football game. If you get down early, don't put your head between your legs and take a beating. You play in the Southeastern Conference, the most prestigious conference in college football, so play like it!
But plain and simple, in this day in age, the spread offense is becoming more and more powerful. You have to score points to stay in a game. More teams are focusing more on offense and less on defense. If the hogs want to win this game, they need to score, score, and score some more. While it will be hard against that tough Auburn defense, I believe that this young Arkansas team will finally pull it all together, and come away with a win.