Category Archives: Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal

Thanks for the reminder.

I haven’t thrown anything in anger at a television screen in a long time, but I gotta admit this tempted me:

Right out of the gate, Feleipe Effing Franks goes where no Georgia quarterback could against that Grantham secondary.  Just shoot me and put me out of my misery, will ‘ya?

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Sam Pittman, doin’ er’rything

The man has had a compelling 2020, that’s for sure.

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, The Body Is A Temple

A curious surprise

So, 247Sportssurprise SEC team” managed this:

I guess Georgia’s defense being pretty effing good isn’t a surprise.

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Key matchups for Georgia’s opener

Jake Rowe has a list here.

I’ve got to say I’m jonesing for that James Cook-Bumper Pool matchup, if only for the potential word play we could be hearing.  Although seeing whether Georgia’s offense is able to exploit Arkansas’ linebacker pass coverage the way other teams have been able to exploit Georgia’s linebacker pass coverage over the years would be a nice bonus.

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Georgia Football

PFF grades UGA’s opener

It ain’t pretty.

Screenshot_2020-09-25 UGASports - PFF Matchup UGA at Arkansas(1)

That’s how you come to be an almost four-touchdown favorite in a road conference game.

The individual matchups are, if anything, even worse.  Arkansas has one clear advantage with Rakeem Boyd.  What’s the over/under on the number of touches he gets tomorrow?

The Hogs’ defensive backfield looks solid, so it will be interesting to see if they present a test for Georgia’s remade passing attack.

What do y’all see there?

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

What’s in store for Georgia’s defense Saturday?

You know, it’s worth mentioning that Georgia won’t be the only team trotting out a new offense in Fayetteville.  Sam Pittman’s offensive coordinator is Kendal Briles, who is Art’s son and runs the old Baylor offensive scheme.

If you want to get the baggage part of the story out of the way first, yes, Briles has been carrying it, as evidenced by his resume since leaving Waco.

Including his final season at Baylor, Arkansas will be his fifth school in five years. Since leaving Waco, Briles had one-year stints as the offensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic, Houston and Florida State before landing the same job with the Razorbacks under first-year head coach Sam Pittman.

He keeps getting jobs for one reason.

Despite not being anywhere long enough to establish sustained success, Briles has been in charge of some dramatic Year 1 turnarounds.

As illustrated in the graphs below, the Owls, Cougars and Seminoles each saw a jump in scoring and total offense – as well as yards per play and the SP+ offensive rating – with him calling the shots.

So, whatever he’s running has worked.  What, then, is his scheme?  It’s not the Air Raid.  Instead, as Ian Boyd explained in his 2013 primer about Art Briles’ philosophy, it’s a spread scheme designed to do a little of everything.

And it’s not the air raid. It’s not the run ‘n’ shoot. It’s not just a spread offense. It’s a blend head coach Art Briles has been cooking up for decades now…

Baylor’s hybrid offensive approach essentially combines many of the greatest tactics in offensive football into one cohesive and simple package.

First is Baylor’s employment of the spread offense. Baylor’s spread is more intense than most, with even the inside receivers lining up outside of the hash marks. Most every team in college football utilizes some aspect of spread tactics, but everything Baylor does is built around spacing out defenses so that individual matchups can be hammered.

On the outside, speed is king. Baylor sends every receiver vertical early and often in every game. In particular, they love that most defensive schemes match safeties or linebackers in coverage against their slot receivers, so they make a habit of using play action or vertical routes. That makes safeties have to turn and run with 4.4 sprinters like Reese.

Who supports a safety in that task? By definition they are already the support players, the last lines of defense, the reinforcements. Briles attacks them first.

The Bear attack to the middle of the field is all about power. Right guard Desmine Hilliard weighs 330 pounds. Preseason All-American left guard Cyril Richardson weighs about 340. Baylor’s run game is primarily based in inside zone and power-O blocking. Meaning, defensive linemen are constantly getting blocked at an angle or by double teams coming straight at them.

Baylor then pairs these running concepts with quarterback reads. Bryce Petty can either throw a perimeter screen or quick pass or keep the ball himself, based on his read of “overhang” defenders. These are the players who are being stressed to choose whether they’ll align outside to run down a screen pass or inside to fill an interior running play. Read-option concepts guarantee those defenders are always wrong.

Of course, Baylor also has some of the best play-action as well. Old school, new school, it’s all there in Waco.

The point is to spread defenses out to an extreme, make quick reads and exploit the numbers.  And they go fast, too, which makes adjusting and substituting harder.  (That’s probably going to drive Kirby crazy Saturday.)

Here’s how what Kendal Briles calls was described at a Nole blog last year:

The Briles offense is among the more unique schemes in football. Some have dubbed it “The Veer and Shoot”– a reference to Art Briles’ experience playing in the Houston Veer offense under Bill Yeoman in the mid-70’s. I personally find “spread iso” to be more fitting of the scheme’s general philosophy.

The offenses’ primary objective is to use spacing to create one-on-one matchups for receivers while also dictating favorable box numbers for a varied run game. The offense operates at a hyper speed, regularly having one of the faster tempos in the nation. Plays are run within 15 seconds of each other, often leading to confused defenses and coverage busts. This is honed during practice, which is conducted at an even faster pace.

Coaches often tout their tempo and attacking mindset. In Briles’ case, it’s not lip service. This offense is one of the more aggressive mindsets I’ve seen in football, at any level. The stated purpose of the offense is to try to score on every snap. Whether it’s the regular deep shots, the tempo or going for it on 4th down, the foot rarely if ever comes off the gas. At its peak, the offense isn’t just among the best in the nation, but aggressive to the point it plays mind games with opposing defenses.

Briles is flexible when it comes to personnel, but there’s only so much he can do in that regard considering Georgia’s defensive prowess.  Speed at linebacker, a dominate defensive front and a secondary that can handle single coverage is going to make for tough sledding. That being said, Arky’s offensive line is decent and he’s got one of the best running backs in the conference in Rakeem Boyd.  We’ll see how Smart and Lanning handle it.

 

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Strategery And Mechanics

I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours.

I’m not sure being coy about starting Feleipe Franks will work, but, hey, I guess stranger things have happened.

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Georgia Football

In today’s episode, Bret Bielema is represented by Tom Mars.

Jeff Long’s current employer:  Hey, let’s get into a futile legal fight over a $3 million buyout with a football coach we canned that wound up costing us more money than just paying the buyout would have and forced us to show our ass in discovery.  Nobody else is that stupid!

Jeff Long’s former employer:  Hold our beer.

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Bert... uh... Bret Bielema, See You In Court

Somebody needs a mulligan.

Good thing it’s Sam Pittman’s first year, ’cause this looks brutal.

Five games with a win probability under 10%?  Enjoy that Charleston Southern game, Hog fans.

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Stats Geek!

“It just means more”, on steroids

Just when you think you’ve seen everything — Arkansas gave two assistants raises before they even coached a single game there.

Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom and offensive line coach Brad Davis each received $100,000 pay raises after other SEC programs tried to hire them away.

Odom’s raise brought his annual pay to $1.3 million – the highest salary on the Arkansas staff – and Davis’ raise increased his salary to $650,000. Odom’s raise was finalized March 10, and Davis’ was finalized Feb. 3…

During a March 12 speech at Cross Church Pinnacle Hills, Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman said Davis had been offered a job by Texas A&M, where he was once a graduate assistant, and that Odom had been offered a defensive coordinator job by another SEC program, but did not specify which one.

Turns out there’s precedent.

As Arkansas’ newly-hired offensive line coach in 2013, Pittman received an annual pay raise from $275,000 to $500,000 and a two-year contract extension after Alabama showed interest in hiring him. Neither Odom, who is under contract for three years, nor Davis (two years) received extensions.

No extensions this time?  I guess that’s the Saban factor.

(h/t)

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, SEC Football