FAYETTEVILLE — Sam Pittman made a mistake when he hired Dan Enos, but he avoided a second one when he fired him following a lackluster showing in 7-3 loss to Mississippi State.
The 2023 season has been one filled with disappointment, but a closer look at it magnifies how bad the offense has been. There’s three aspects to football…..offense, defense and special teams. Arkansas has been outstanding in two of the three areas. The special teams had an off day, for them, against BYU and the defense had a second-half collapse against LSU. But, for the most part, both units have been very solid this season.
The offense has struggled under Enos from the very beginning. Even though the Hogs opened the season in Little Rock winning 56-13 the running game wasn’t good. The Hogs ran 36 times for 105 yards (2.9 average). UCF is winless in the Big 12, but they put up 723 yards of total offense against Kent State including 389 on the ground. Arkansas rushed for 172 yards on 45 carries against Kent State,
Arkansas has averaged 305.9 yards per game of total offense. That ranks dead last in the SEC. It’s 31.1 yards behind Auburn, the No. 13 offense. The Hogs are No. 12 in passing yards each game with 196.9, which is just ahead of No. 13 Kentucky 196.7. The 109 yards per game rushing is also No. 12 in SEC.
By comparison, Arkansas is No. 6 in the SEC in total defense giving up 333 yards per game. The special teams has seen Cam Little perfect on 22 point after touchdowns, 12-of-13 on field goals with a long of 56. Max Fletcher has punted 39 times for 48.4 yards average. Little has kicked off 40 times with 36 touchbacks. Isaiah Sategna has returned a punt for a touchdown.
Arkansas is 2-6 on the season despite good performances from defense and special teams. The losses have been to BYU (7 points), LSU (3), Texas A&M (12), Ole Miss (7), Alabama (3) and Mississippi State (4).
With just a middle of the SEC offense there’s a good chance Arkansas would be at least 4-4 and maybe better than that.
Kenny Guiton will now call plays the remainder of the season. There’s mixed views by many of making a coaching change during the season, but after only amassing 200 yards against Mississippi State on Saturday I don’t think Pittman had a choice. At this point how much difference will it make is anyone’s guess, but it was something that needed to be done.