El Dorado News

Friday
November 17, 2017
El Dorado News Times

Arkansas aiming for second straight victory

This article was published November 4, 2017 at 5:00 a.m.

By Otis Kirk

Special to the News-Times

Arkansas is home today to play host to Coastal Carolina as the Razorbacks celebrate homecoming while hoping to win their second game in a row.

The Razorbacks downed Ole Miss 38-37 last Saturday for their first SEC win of the season. Arkansas (3-5, 1-4) now starts its November stretch with three of the four games played in Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Coastal Carolina comes into the game having lost seven games in a row following a 38-28 victory over Massachusetts to begin the season.

The Chanticleers have Jamey Chadwell serving as its interim coach. Chadwell knows to break the losing streak in Fayetteville will be very hard.

“Obviously, trying to still get over the hump going to play Arkansas,” Chadwell said. “They’ve got a 3-5 record, but they’re a good football team.

“You’re watching them thinking, ‘Hey, maybe we can do this.’ And then you’re seeing they’re playing Alabama and some of those people.”

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema wants his team thinking of Coastal Carolina and nothing beyond.

“Obviously a team that hasn’t had a lot of victories, but they’ve played a lot of really close games,” Bielema said.

“A team that’s had a success in the past. They have a variety of different players. Use multiple quarterbacks, running backs.

“A variety of a lot of stuff offensively. Defensively, they’re a 4-3 scheme. Bring a lot of different pressures. Bring a lot of blitzes that we have to be on our toes and be able to execute.

“The task at hand is the challenge in front of us and that’s where we’re at. We’re not going to talk anything other than what’s in front of us this Saturday.”

Chadwell was asked to describe how his offense is designed.

“We try to do a spread option,” Chadwell said. “I’d classify it as that. We’re not doing a lot of that right now. We’re throwing the ball more than probably we’d like to.”

On defense, the Chanticleers run a 4-3 and Chadwell shared what they try to accomplish on that side of the ball.

“We play quite a bit of man-to-man coverage and try to bring some different blitzes out of a four-down (linemen) deal,” Chadwell said.

Arkansas’ Paul Rhoads is putting together a defensive plan to try and limit the success of Coastal Carolina’s offense.

“They’re an option team,” Rhoads said. “That sticks out very much right in front of my face because you’re not used to defending that.

“You have to really be disciplined in what you do. It’s triple-option, so somebody has to have the dive, somebody has to have the quarterback and somebody has to have the pitch.

“You have to be leveraged correctly to do that. You have to be able to get off blocks and they use a number of different blocking schemes to try to create issues and problems for you so you can’t always be in all of those spots. They’re going to create some unique practice preparation for us this week.”

Facing the triple option means the Hogs will be in base defense maybe more than usual. If so then they will have two outside linebackers on the field.

Chad Walker coaches that unit and explained what problems the triple option poses.

“You prepare for it,” Walker said. “You do your research as a coach and then you prepare for what you see there and you teach the scheme. Obviously inside of our calls, we have base rules.

“You play your base rules and then there’s different unique looks, but it always comes down to fundamentals.

“Once you’re in the right spot and being disciplined and playing with good eye discipline, it comes down to getting off blocks and tackling and making the play.”

Senior safety Josh Liddell had a big interception just before halftime last week to help swing the momentum to the Razorbacks.

He knows the offense Coastal Carolina puts on the field will be different than others the Hogs have faced.

“You definitely have to be assignment-sound,” Liddell said. “What I mean by that is each guy has to take care of his gap first and know his job.

“Me being a safety, we’re the last line of defense back there. Whatever breaks loose, whenever a breakdown may happen, we have to be able to get that down and do our job.”

Dan Enos coordinates Arkansas’ offense and is preparing it to face Coastal Carolina. What have you seen from them on film?

“They play really hard,” Enos said. “They’re very multiple in what they do. Their coaches do a tremendous job. I have a ton of respect for their staff.

“They get in and out of different things on third down that cause problems. Each and every week, there’s challenges. It doesn’t matter who you play or what. There are a lot of really good coaches out there. This group is no different. They present a lot of challenges for you schematically, so it’s going to be a big challenge. We had a good start today. We have to continue with that.”

The game will kickoff at 3 p.m. CT and be televised on the SEC Network alternate channel.

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