The University of Arkansas have a big question surrounding the quarterback position heading into Saturday’s match up with the University of Alabama, however the biggest question may be the Razorbacks defense.
Over the past 5 years the Razorbacks have boasted an offense considered by many to be one of the best in the country. Whether Bobby Petrino or Paul Petrino called the plays, the Arkansas aerial assault has been known as one of the best in the country with Ryan Mallet and Tyler Wilson pulling the trigger under center. Already explosive, the Razorbacks offense became even more potent with the development a running game featuring Knile Davis, Dennis Johnson, and Ronnie Wingo Jr.
While the offense was lighting up scoreboards over the past five seasons, the Razorback defense was doing its best to ensure opposing teams could do the same. Defensively Arkansas has been mediocre at best, finishing no higher than 36th (2010) over the past years.
Those struggles have continued into this season as the Razorbacks possess the 88th ranked defense, including a 117th ranking in defending the pass. Arkansas’ struggles may have been an unknown to casual football fans, however those shortcomings were put on full display in last Saturday’s upset loss to the University of Louisiana Monroe.
The Razorbacks made easy work of the Warhawks for nearly 3 quarters, taking a 21 point lead with 9:42 to play in the 3rd quarter. From that point on, Arkansas surrendered 24 unanswered points, surrendering the game as well. In the game prior, the struggles were evident as well, allowing Jacksonville State to hang 21 points on the board before finally settling in.
In their two games combined Arkansas has given up nearly 900 yards of offense, which raises the question: If Arkansas has struggled thus far against lower tier opponents, how will the Razorbacks fare against an SEC foe?
My guess is not very well; regardless of who their quarterback is.
While the Razorbacks are focusing on who will start under center on Saturday, they may want to focus a little bit more on their defense.