Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Antidote for Razorback's Ground Game Woes


Broderick Green, AP Photo.

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Sure my focus is public policy, but like every guy, I also like to think I know a little bit about football. Many people are scratching their heads over the Hogs lack of a ground game. I believe I have the answer. Broderick Green needs less playing time, or to be more exact, fewer carries relative to the other backs. The other running backs, Knile Davis, Dennis Johnson, and Ronnie Wingo, need more.

I hate to say this, because I have nothing against Green as a person, and not even anything against him as a back. He just has the wrong style for the "go to" runner in the spread offense. He can pick up blitzing linebackers well, and he has good hands. He might make it in the NFL, but not as a runner, especially in an offense like the Hogs run. He is just not good enough at making people miss, and that's what you have to do in an offense which spreads out, rather than flattens, the defense.

Look at the rushing stats so far (this will change as the Razorbacks play more games). As it stands on the date of this post, Green has as many carries as the other three put together. Yet in spite of getting as many carries as the trio, he has less than half of their yards rushing. He is averaging only 3.2 yards per carry, and many of those carries have come against weaker opponents. Johnson is averaging over nine yards a carry, why not let him get a few more opportunities? Davis and Wingo are just over and just under six yards a carry, also very respectable averages. Those others are shifty and do have the ability to make people miss. They don't just have speed, but sudden acceleration, where as Green takes a while to get his powerful body built up to a full head of steam.

It is true that Green had a fairly good average per carry last year (4.3 yards), but 99 of his 434 yards came on one play. Toss that play out and his average per carry for last year would be 3.3 yards. In other words, close to what it is now. Compare that to Wingo and Johnson, who both averaged over six yards a carry. Davis was close to five yards a carry in his limited action last year.

The coaches are trying to make Green the "go to" runner, but there are other young men on campus whose skills are more fitting for that role. Green is a talented athlete who deserves lots of playing time, but his role in the rushing game should be shifted to lead blocker, IMHO.

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