With another SEC football season just around the corner, Hog fans are fired up at the potential of this team. Some say the Hogs offense will leave something to be desired with the absence of Ryan Mallett. That is where you would be wrong.
For starters, if you believe this, you most likely have not heard of Bobby Petrino before he became the Head Hog, secondly you would be taking away from Tyler Wilson and Brandon Mitchell’s abilities to run Petrino’s offense efficiently. And for either of those, shame on you. Even with yours truly under center, Petrino’s offense could score 30 points. Coach Petrino’s offense is a well tuned machine. While some quarterbacks will perform better than others in that kind of offense, we can’t know how the two potential QB’s will do until they have had their shot.
While I’m sure that Coach Petrino would love to have another prospect with Mallett’s arm, Wilson and Mitchell will actually help the offense perform better. At this point I’m sure you are wondering how much I have left of whatever I’m smoking, but bear with me.
With Mallett under center, the playbook consisted of shotgun, pistol, quick bootlegs as well and it worked for an immobile quarterback. With Tyler Wilson or Brandon Mitchell under center, the playbook opens up. The Hogs will be able to run plays they haven’t been able to run. With Petrino mentioning in the SEC meetings in Destin that both Wilson and Mitchell could possibly play this coming season, coaches will have to prepare for two quarterbacks. Plus with three (make-believe) games to start the season, Nick Saban will have a minimal amount of film on either QB.
With the playbook opening up, it will allow Coach Petrino to be more aggressive when he needs to be and it will allow Arkansas’ offense to grow yet another head so to speak. With a proven running game, wide receivers that are in my opinion second to none, ( You hear me Chris Low ?) a mobile quarterback just makes life that much more difficult for any defense.
To top off expectations for this, The year of the Hog, Arkansas’ defense will be a huge factor in the success of the program. As powerful as the Arkansas offense can be, the defense will have to be a bit more salty than they were a year ago. Although the offense was saved more than once by the defense a season ago, the defense will need to surpass last years efforts and not only make big stops against big time offenses, but take the ball away from those big time offenses.
Football is a game of momentum and Arkansas was on the brink of making huge plays at critical times last season and came up short. Some of those instances involved less than stellar officiating, but as an athlete, you have to play around mistakes by officials. Much easier said than done, I know.
If this is in fact going to be the Year of the Hog, one thing will have to change dramatically, and that is special teams. Last season Arkansas’ special teams had some shining moments, but mostly swollen black eyes. I believe that Coach Petrino will find a way to get the most out of his special teams unit. With each passing season, all three facets of the game have improved slowly but surely, and one thing is for sure, Bobby Petrino is piece by piece building a monster in Fayetteville.
What concerns you as a Hog fan ? Are you happy with what Coach Petrino has done at Arkansas ? Feel free to post comments or shoot me questions or comments on Twitter: @james_moseley