Next up on the Triple Option Attack is #21 Arkansas
Music to listen to: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart by Al Green
Johnny Cash may the most famous Arkansas musician but I had Hank Williams, Jr. for a post earlier in the week and I want to mix up my musical genre choices so here’s some soul music from a legend.
The Story: With the top QB in the SEC and maybe the entire nation in Ryan Mallet, the Razorbacks are optimistic that this team will return to the SEC Championship game and eventually capture the school’s first-ever SEC crown. With Mallet under center for the second year under head coach Bobby Petrino, the offense can be even better this year. The question comes at defense.
Last Season: Finished with a record of 8-5, including a win in the Liberty Bowl over East Carolina.
Offense: The offense is led by potential Heisman Trophy winner Ryan Mallet and he has a bevy of offensive weapons to throw to including Jarius Wright, Greg Childs and Joe Adams. The Razorbacks will also return four offensive linemen. The only two concerns are running back and performances on the road. Their leading rusher last season was Broderick Green and he only rushed for 459 yards. The problem with this is that while the passing offense may get you the lead, the lack of ability to run the ball makes it easier for you to blow the lead as well.
Secondly, last season, the squad put up less points than its average in each of its road games at Alabama, Florida, Ole Miss and LSU. You may argue that those were the better defenses in the SEC and maybe in the nation with Alabama and Florida but the lack of production hurt them in each contest.
Defense: The defense was a borderline embarrassment last season. It gave up 52 points at home to Georgia, a team that struggled greatly throughout the season accept against the Razorbacks. Arkansas allowed LSU to put up 33 points. Alabama scored 35 points in its contest. The bright side is that the defense did have some good moments like giving up only 20 points at Florida and holding a solid Auburn offense to 23 points. Maybe those games will provide inspiration for this years team. Furthermore, the defense does return some talented guys such as cornerbacks Ramon Broadway and Rudell Crim. The squad was young last year and maybe a year of maturity will help the overall cause.
9-4-10 Tennessee Tech
9-11-10 Louisiana Monroe
10-9-10 Texas A&M (Arlington, Texas)
11-6-10 @South Carolina
11-20-10 @Mississippi State
11-27-10 LSU (Little Rock, Ark.)
After playing two warm up contests against Tennessee Tech and Louisiana Monroe, the first major test comes at Georgia against a squad that will match them in talent. After that will be one of the bigger games in Arkansas in the last few years when the defending national champions Alabama come into town. If they can find a way to be 3-1 after the first four games, that would be an accomplishment.
The Razorbacks should be fine for its home contests after that but the road games are of concern, especially at Auburn and believe it or not, at Mississippi State.
Most Famous Sports Alum: You would honestly have to say Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, especially if you want to keep it football related. It isn’t a coincidence that one of Arkansas “home” games will be against Texas A&M in Arlington, Texas
Celebrity Crush Alum: Joey Laruen Adams, star of such classics as Mallrats, Big Daddy and one of my favorite movies of the 1990’s, Chasing Amy. War Holden and Banky! I had a solid crush on her, especially after seeing that last movie. Let’s just say that her character, a lesbian who dug hockey and liked men as well was an exciting proposition for the 17-year old version of me.
The offense is there to make a run at the SEC title but you’re asking the defense to make too much of a leap to respectability to be more than a slightly above-average conference team. I already see them losing at Georgia and to Alabama, plus you know that they will slip up in another road game, I’m calling Auburn. I can’t pinpoint the fourth loss but it will happen. Mallet will put up some impressive numbers and as a neutral viewer, the team will be a pleasure to see but nothing more than a trip to the Cotton Bowl will take place this year.
Sports Inquirer Top-25 Preseason College Football Poll: