With one day in the books for Auburn week, many fans have seemed to question Coach Bobby Petrino’s philosophy, more so pertaining to the running game. (Or lack there of.)
For all doubters, here is a concept to grasp; the University of Arkansas pays Coach Petrino, millions of dollars to produce success on the football field, and with a (4-1, 1-1) record through week six, he has done that.
Maybe not in a fashion that all Hog fans care for, or maybe certain fans feel that the Razorbacks should be scoring more points. But the fact of the matter is that Coach Petrino has shown to be a successful head coach, looking at his record at the University of Louisville, he posted a (41-9) record in his 4 year tenure as head coach of the Cardinals.
Granted, two of those years were in Conference USA and the Big East, and lack the credibility that the SEC possesses with great coaches at every turn.
The big and small of it is, that regardless of underlying factors, he does indeed know what he is doing.
For example, I heard a fan say today that Broderick Green, was a soft running back for 250 pounds, and the fan went on to voice his opinion that Knile Davis, who led the Hogs in rushing against Texas A&M, deserved more carries.
While it is true that Knile Davis was the more productive back last Saturday, his trouble in pass protection are what keeps him from gaining a larger amount of snaps. Broderick Green on the other hand, is the best back in pass protection, thus he appears in the game more than Knile Davis.
However, this does pose the problem that opposing defensive coordinator’s can pick up on substitutions and scheme accordingly.
In an earlier post, I mentioned that the Hogs racked up 317 yards in the first half against Texas A&M, which is what you might expect for a high powered offense. Not to mention this feat was accomplished facing a 3-4 defense. The Razorbacks woes aren’t moving the ball, much like the last three games, it is finishing.
If the Hogs had finished their drives the way Coach Petrino had wanted, the Hogs would have had a big halftime lead, as opposed to a touchdown lead at the break.
While the offense may be struggling, the defense is playing the best an Arkansas defense has in recent memory.
And with another mobile quarterback, in Cameron Newton, the Hogs defense will have to maintain the energy level they have displayed in the first five games.
With Newton being more of a run first kind of guy, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Willy Robinson assign a spy to shadow Newton’s every move. More than likely it would be Jerry Franklin, or maybe even Anthony Leon due to his speed.
With the Hogs having a defense with as much team speed as they do, I believe it will present a challenge for Auburn’s running game.
With the Razorbacks defense ranking 3rd in the SEC and 19th nationally, Cam Newton will have his work cut out for him come Saturday.
Auburn’s defense has shown its ability to force turnovers, put pressure on quarterbacks, but with Coach Petrino’s ability to insert whomever he chooses as that weeks weapon is nothing short of amazing.
Early last week many people were questioning why Cobi Hamilton hadn’t been involved as much lately, low and behold Petrino found ways to get Hamilton involved.
So to all Hog fans who may be fretting over offensive woes, rest assured, Coach Petrino will find a way to solve the problems the Hogs have had on the field.
For those who are worrying about the lack of points the Hogs have scored, when the offense and defense do get in sync, and they will, watch out.