SEC Country reporter Eric W. Bolin will candidly answer your Arkansas Razorbacks sports queries each weekday in our Mailbag Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryHogs or by email to Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I began to answer this question, none of us were sure who was going to be Arkansas’ next offensive coordinator. Now we know. Per reports, anyway. Joe Craddock is set to join new Hogs coach Chad Morris in Fayetteville.
The 32-year-old has only been an offensive coordinator in college football since 2015, but quickly established himself as one of the better ones in the sport. He was up for the Broyles Award for best assistant coach in the country this year.
Being limited in experience means we have little go on as far as his style. Just three years. Those three years, though, yes, definitely, SMU ran a spread. It is important to note, however, that is not a dual-threat spread.
Loads of misinformation lately has been bandied about Morris’ desire to have a dual-threat quarterback. While he may desire one (or may not), Morris hasn’t had one in his three years at SMU. That notion comes from Morris’ time at Clemson. He just so happened to have the best quarterback in the country while there, DeShaun Watson, who was a dual-threat.
Cole Kelley showed himself to be a competent, if not intimidating, runner at quarterback this past year. He is more a threat on the ground from that position than SMU has had in the entire Morris tenure. Those who strongly want Gerry Bohannon Jr. from Earle High School, sure, Morris wants him and Bohannon is an in-state product. But any ideas Bohannon is a guaranteed starter, or even all that close to it, are misguided.
The truth is Arkansas is in great shape for a Morris offense. They have every single wide receiver who caught a pass in 2017 back for 2018. Running backs Devwah Whaley and Chase Hayden return, too. The Razorbacks have a load of options at skill positions.
The biggest question is on the offensive line. Arkansas’ front is more road-grader than fleet of foot. That’s simple personnel. It’s possible the Razorbacks struggle in pass protection again next year.
It’s hard to imagine them being worse, though, simply because SMU’s offense has more short, quick passes than Arkansas, which may not be saying a lot because anecedotally, the Hogs didn’t seem to throw many at all.
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