FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Joe Craddock, Arkansas’ offensive coordinator, broke down the last four calls against Kentucky from this past Saturday’s 24-20 loss.
Arkansas’ final drive of the night started with 6:49 remaining in the game at its own 18. The Hogs used seven plays, five rushing and two Ben Hicks to Cheyenne O’Grady passes, to get to a first-and-10 at the Kentucky 17.
Just as the previous game two week’s ago against Texas A&M, Arkansas’ drive stalled in the red zone. Craddock talked about each of the next four calls.
On first down, Hicks ran for two yards to the Kentucky 15.
“The first one was a quarterback draw that we had schemed up,” Craddock said. “You know, we had four guys in the box, it was a good design. I think Myron (Cunningham) got held up a little bit just trying to get around, I think it was Ty (Clary). That put him and Ben kind of on top of each other. We would have liked for Ben to be a little further back there, so that when Myron kicks that linebacker out, Ben hits it inside. I think Ben was just a little too fast or we probably get a first down on that quarterback draw.”
Then on second down, Hicks passed incomplete to Mike Woods leaving third-and-eight call.
“The second play, it was an RPO,” Craddock said. “We had exactly what we wanted, we had Mike Woods on a slant, we just missed it.”
Hicks was sacked for seven-yard loss on third down. Then on fourth down, Hicks was hit as he threw and his pass for Burks fell incomplete.
“On third down, obviously we gave up an opportunity, not a good time to give up a sack there,” Craddock said. “We probably could have called a quicker play and tried to get it to a fourth and short or something, but we thought we had some guys coming open late that we could have done a better job getting the ball out of his hand a little quicker. Obviously, fourth down and long was tough. They dropped everybody at the chains and made it tough, and Ben got pressured.”
Craddock then reflected back on what, if anything, maybe he could have called different in that situation.
“Looking back on it, you always second guess yourself in those situations,” Craddock said. “Maybe we could have taken the RPO off and just handed the ball off to Rakeem to try and see what we got on second down to try to make it a little bit shorter third-down call. You are always going to have those calls were you second guess yourself. If you hit Mike Woods on the slant or Ben is a little slower and creases it, you know, you are talking about something completely different. So, we probably could have done a better job playcalling there.”
Arkansas will face Auburn on Saturday at 11 a.m. in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.