SB Nation's Roll Bama Roll and Arkansas Expats swap Q&A sessions in advance of Saturday's game. Today's topic: The Razorbacks' as-yet fledgling run game.
Arkansas has put up a lot of points and yards so far, but the ground game is still struggling. To what do you attribute these struggles and do you see them improving anytime soon?
These are questions that many Hog fans have been asking. We wish we had a ready answer. Hopefully, Bobby Petrino and his staff - whom we're willing to admit might know slightly more about offense than we do - have one, or will have one soon.
The Razorbacks have taken a platoon approach thus far, but to our untrained eyes it might make sense to just commit to one guy for a half or a game and see if he can establish some kind of a rhythm. It doesn't seem far-fetched that the near-constant substitutions would hinder their performances.
For whatever it's worth, in this article, tight end D.J. Williams seems to spread responsibility for the problem, saying, "We need to do our job on the offensive line, including the tight ends to be able to open up holes and the backs need to hit the hole hard and that should take care of the problem." In that same piece, offensive tackle Ray Dominguez claims the Hogs have consistently been "one guy away" from peeling off big runs. Then again, we're not sure what else you would expect them to say.
One unappealing possibility is the current group of running backs simply isn't as good as the team needs them to be. We certainly hope that's not the case but over the past year and three games, no one has grabbed a feature role. And, possibly the best of the bunch, junior Dennis Johnson - who averaged 6 yards per carry last season and ran for 107 yards in the Hogs' near-upset of Florida - is out for the season with a gruesome-sounding bowel injury. This weekend would certainly be a nice time for one of his counterparts to step up.