Both teams opened up with cupcakes, and will face a much different test Saturday in Fayetteville.
While TCU brings in a dangerous passing attack with Hill at quarterback and a stable of talented receivers — 14 TCU players caught passes in the victory over Jackson State — Arkansas will counter with a potent running attack. The Razorbacks ran for 236 yards in a season-opening 49-7 victory over Florida A&M on Aug. 31, led by 120 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries from true freshman Chase Hayden.
Bielema’s blueprint at Arkansas, and before that at Wisconsin, has been to control the ball with a powerful running game anchored by a big offensive line. He made it clear that he would like to force TCU into that type of game on Saturday.
“I want to make this our type of game, an SEC-type game and an Arkansas game here at home and see what happens,” he said.
Will the rowdy environment be a problem for the Frogs? GP is trying to ensure it won’t be.
“It’s Arkansas, they play hard from the first whistle to the last whistle,” he said. “We expect that going into that type of atmosphere. On film, their secondary is just as aggressive as their up front, and that’s what you expect out of their defense.”
Diarse said an SEC atmosphere should not be a problem for a team that went 4-1 in away games last season. The Frogs are ready for it; they prepare for it every week.
“Every Thursday, we go in the indoor, and we blare music so loud that you can’t hear,” Patterson said. “They have to communicate without talking, defense and offense. You have to be able to communicate without talking. It’s very important.”
Will one less down lineman free up some speed on the outside to slow down Hicks and co? Probably not.
Playing a 3-down linemen scheme helps depth in the trenches. The Razorbacks played 10 defensive linemen in their 49-7 opening win over Florida A&M. They likely won’t play double digits against TCU, but spreading depth over 3 positions instead of 4 helps.
“I think that’s going to help us for TCU on Saturday to keep guys fresh,” defensive line coach John Scott Jr. said.
The scheme essentially means Arkansas is subbing a defensive lineman for a linebacker or defensive back, which equates to 8 defenders playing with their hands off the ground, whether it lines up in the 3-4 or in its nickel package. The added speed on the field, mostly in the form of outside linebackers Randy Ramsey and Dwayne Eugene and nickel back Kevin Richardson, should come in handy against TCU.
The Horned Frogs like to spread the field, a strategy which gets their speedy playmakers in space and also gives the versatile Hill plenty of room to take off and scramble if the play breaks down or running room opens up.
He hurt the Hogs with his legs last year, running for 93 yards and 2 touchdowns. Taking away Agim’s sack and a pair of others, Hill cracked the century mark in positive yardage during the game, picking holes in the Arkansas edge and exploiting his superior speed.
Arkansas hopes there is less running room with its outside linebackers helping man the edges and less of a gap in speed thanks to its personnel groupings.
“Especially being a guy in space, I feel they’re going to try to attack us and go at us, so we have a big responsibility,” senior outside linebacker Dwayne Eugene said.
Robbie Fuelling :/
Those Dang Tiny, Hard to Tackle Skill Players
Kavontae Turpin is listed at 5’9” and 153 lbs. You know how hard that is to tackle? And guess what. There’s more of them! Desmon White is listed at 5’7” 160lbs, Kenedy Snell at 5’8” 170 lbs, and Robbie Fuelling is 5’9” 160 lbs. Those little guys go against every bit of Arkansas’ beefy brand. The Hogs are throwing several players out there twice that weight. They don’t understand how anyone can be that small and fast. It’s like when a german shepard gets confused by that little yapping dog with all that energy.