Why starting Noland fits today’s college football

PHOTO BY JUSTIN MANNING | Special to HitThatLine.com

In case you haven’t noticed, college football today is nothing like it was 10 years ago.

Some heard new defensive coordinator John Chavis’ comments at his first press conference about having a goal of limiting opponents to 300 yards and were disappointed.

If you were one of those, then you haven’t been paying attention to the changing face of college football.

It’s nothing like it was 10 years ago.

Especially with defensive goals.

Back in 2008, limiting opponents to 300 yards a game in offense and 20 points a game would have barely gotten a team in the Top 25 of defense.

In 2017 you would be in the Top 10.

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Chavis knows this, which is exactly why that’s the goal for every game.

Don’t say it can’t be done.

Mississippi State averaged allowing 302 yards per game and 20.4 points per game last season, which was 10th in the nation.

That was a turnaround from a defense tied for 110th the year before, giving up 461 yards of offense and 33 points a game.

They changed coordinators.

On offense, Arkansas will have only Cole Kelley returning at quarterback and the guess here is that’s not going to get anyone excited. Too big, slow footwork, bad mechanics and slow decision-making won’t cut it in this offense.

Enter incoming freshman Connor Noland from Greenwood.

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The guess here is he knows more about Chad Morris’ offense¬†while he’s getting ready for the Bulldogs’ baseball season than any of the current players will figure out by the end of spring practice.

He’s been running it at Greenwood under Rick Jones, who has known Morris and his offense for over a decade or so.

Don’t give me the freshman argument.

A true freshman came off the bench to win the national championship game just a week ago. If he hadn’t, a true freshman would have won it on the other side.

Last season a true freshman came within a minute of winning the national championship and if his team’s defense had lasted one more drive, his touchdown will less than two minutes left would have won it then.

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It’s proven you can win with a true freshman quarterback.

Still skeptical? The smart money is that Clemson, who will be the No. 2-ranked team when the 2018 season starts, will be starting a true freshman quarterback.

Don’t be shocked if Arkansas’ defense is a whole lot better in 2018 than anyone can imagine. The game hasn’t passed John Chavis, but he did have a job for three years where defense wasn’t a particular concern.

The guess here is the offense will be drastically better too.

Probably with a freshman running the show.


  1. We haven’t seem many coaches as poorly prepared for a job as Bert was a long time. It is a short list. There is talent on this team that can be organized into a winning team. With a little recruiting we will be in the thick of it for third place in no time.

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