Ole Miss prepares to face balanced Arkansas offense

Posted on Nov 5 2015 - 9:00am by Cody Thomason

Saturday Ole Miss will face the Arkansas Razorbacks for their 10th game of the season in what is a must win for the Rebels if they are to stay in control of their SEC western division championship destiny.

Head coach Hugh Freeze was eager because of what he saw on film from Arkansas, and noted they had improved from the beginning of the season.
“The more I watch Arkansas, the more impressed I am with them,” Freeze said.  “They’re really good against he run. I haven’t watched any game that people have just lined up and ran the football.  They just do a really sound job.”

(The Defensive line practices during warm-ups before a game. | Photo by: Lizzie McIntosh)

(The Defensive line practices during warm-ups before a game. | Photo by: Lizzie McIntosh)

Arkansas head coach Brett Bielema has an offensively philosophy based on power running and multiple tight end sets. The Razorbacks are fourth in the SEC in rushing with 196 yards per game and 18 rushing touchdowns on the season, despite losing starting running back Jonathan Williams at the beginning of the season and second-string running back Rawleigh Williams III for the remainder of the season with a neck injury.

Junior Alex Collins has stepped up to take on the bulk of the carries and has shined, carrying the ball 166 times for 960 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
Freeze pointed out that the offense wasn’t just one-dimensional and that senior quarterback Brandon Allen does solid job in taking care of the football for the Razorbacks.

“He’s taking care of the ball and throwing it for big chunks of yards and using those tight ends, Freeze said. “You have to honor the gaps that they create with their different alignments because they have a really good running game also.”

Arkansas’ tight ends have been a huge part of the Razorback offense this year, with junior Hunter Henry catching 28 passes for 409 yards and a touchdown and junior Jeremy Sprinkle catching 13 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns.

Freeze said he like what he saw from the team’s practices so far this week.
“I think our spirits are good, energy is good, I think our kids are in a good frame of mind but it’s going to be a tough task,” Freeze said.