FAYETTEVILLE — In three of the last four games the Razorbacks have fallen behind by double-digit margins in their games and it has Sam Pittman concerned.
The only exception to this was Texas A&M when Arkansas jumped on the Aggies 14-0 after two possessions. Unfortunately in that game the Hogs had miscues and only managed one more touchdown the remainder of the game.
However, Missouri State jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter against Arkansas. Alabama led 28-0 over the Hogs before they were able to get on the scoreboard. Mississippi State went up 21-0 in the second quarter as well this past Saturday. Pittman was asked if that is something the team is focusing on fixing this week?
“We focused it last week, too, it just didn’t work,” Pittman said. “I appreciate the question, I do, because it is a concern to us. It might be even to a taking the ball if we win the coin toss. We’re such a defer team because I like having the ball coming out of the third quarter, but the bottom line is I think we have to do a better job offensively, on having our openers solid, concrete, practice them over and over and over. I know they change a little bit with down and distance, but we have to have our 10 plays in there that we’re going to run. And depending on down and distance, get our kids to believe in those plays. We have to execute, I get it. And we do that, but I think we have to make a stronger concentrated effort on that.
“Defensively, we just have to make plays. Last week was a little bit different because we kicked the ball out of bounds, had a 15-yard penalty on a back of the helmet penalty. We hurt ourselves. We’ve obviously got to be better at details as a staff, and that’s myself. But yes, to answer your question, we have to get out — we can’t go into halftime down, one week 21, and last week, whatever it was, 11. We just can’t. We’ve got to start faster.”
The Razorbacks led Cincinnati 14-0 at halftime in the season opener. In Week 2, Arkansas topped South Carolina 21-9 at halftime. So the early deficits weren’t an issue earlier in the season. BYU has outscored its opponents 58-23 in the first quarter of games so the Hogs have to be aware of the slow starts Saturday.
Arkansas will face BYU on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Provo, Utah.