Because I am long-winded, here is another post with Part Two of my 10 questions we need to have answered for this Razorback football season.
1. Running game
Rawleigh Williams leaves some pretty big shoes to fill.
So far, the coaches say they have a 1A, 1B and 1C running back on the depth chart. Let me translate coach speak for you … that means nobody has jumped up to grab the lead running back spot with less then two weeks till a real game.
The most talented guy in the bunch is Chase Hayden. He has some abilities that we have not seen since Alex Collins was here. He will have to be on top of his pass protection assignments in order to get a lot of playing time.
Whaley is good, too, and I think he will start the year as the feature back. I have no idea what to make of David Williams yet, but he could fill the role left by Kody Walker, a carry or two every now and then to give the main guys a break.
2. Red Zone … Both Sides of the Ball
Arkansas’ red zone offense needs to score more touchdowns and the defense needs to lock things down … it’s as simple as that.
Dan Enos seems to always have to gadget his way to points inside the 20 yard line since he has been here. The line has to just line up and whip people at the line of scrimmage to make sure the Hogs don’t have to hold their breath and attempt a field goal this year.
Defensively isn’t much better. Arkansas was 75th in red zone defense last year. Simply put, they have to get to the Top 50 in that and pretty much any statistical category to show great signs of improvement this year.
3. Dre Greenlaw’s Health
Arkansas cannot afford to have it’s best linebacker on the sideline again for any length of time this year.
There is little depth behind him and he is the best athlete in the linebacker room and it isn’t close. This is a big year for Dre to prove he can pass the durability test during a full SEC season.
Getting injured and missing more time will not only hurt the Razorback defense, but will also seriously begin to effect his draft stock at the next level.
4. Linebacker Depth
See above. This group will be the most tested by Arkansas 10 straight weeks of playing games without a bye this year.
There just are not enough quality linebackers on the roster right now. Putting more of them on the field in a 3-4 scheme didn’t help either.
The regulars have to find a way to tough it out for 12 games this year because the guys behind them are unproven and there will be a drop off in production.
5. Young Wide Receivers
They may be young, but I think they are ready.
La’Michael Pettway has had a very good camp. It’s like the light bulb has gone off for him.
Hopefully, Jared Cornelius’ back injury is not more serious then we are being told because if it is, it means two important games in the month of September with Austin Allen throwing to guys who have never or barely played in a game.
They have upgraded in talent from what I have seen in practice, but you have to do it in a game.
Hopefully, the dropsies do not become a problem for a talented, yet inexperienced group of pass catchers.