Story: By Drew Amman
It didn’t take the Hogs very long to respond after Colorado State’s Marvin Kinsey Jr. found a seam turning it up for a 75 yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage Saturday. Nick Starkel quickly found Treylon Burks for 38 yards on first down and it was a sign of things to come for a much improved Arkansas offense. In particular, in 33 attempts, 7.6 yards per play on first down, as Chad Morris pointed out. That success needs to be emphasized over and over again.
A small sample as a comparison: I remember going to do a halftime report during the Ole Miss game in week two, and quickly glanced at stat broadcast: Arkansas, at the time, was averaging 1.6 yards per play on first down. However in week three against the Rams, Arkansas was so much better setting the tone. And, when it was tied at 34 in the third quarter, Starkel had a 17 yard pass to Treylon Burks on first down, and a 20 yard pass to Trey Knox on first down on a drive capped by a Devwah Whaley TD Run.
Point is, there should be more optimism surrounding this program since Chad Morris and Joe Craddock started to show what they can do getting this offense set up for success. Of course, it helps when you have Starkel throwing for 305 yards and a run game producing 215.
Also, to Morris’ point, Arkansas went six of 12 on third down. To sum it up, yes, the jury is still out as far as the way this will translate when the Hogs get back into SEC Play in Week Five. For now, it’s growth. For now, it’s exciting, and there’s potential. The goal now? Don’t take a step backward against San Jose State, a second consecutive Mountain West Opponent.
(Drew Amman’s column appears every week in the Pig Trail Nation)