• #1 by NuttinItUp on 06 Jun 2018
  • You can read the whole article here (link with video), but I thought the breakdown of plays from SMU against TCU last year was interesting and should give a flavor of how Morris' mind works.

    The SEC West was already a murderers row and somehow, even with Dan Mullen leaving Starkville for the friendly confines of the SEC East, the West may have gotten better and more diverse on offense.

    Mississippi State brings in Joe Moorhead, he of the Penn State offense that absolutely spun Don Brown’s Michigan defense around. Arkansas goes from the heavy “pound it down your throat” style to Chad Morris’ up-tempo, throw it around the yard style.

    It’s going to be an exciting year, as usual, in the southeast.

    With Arkansas, Morris comes back to the Power Five after spending three seasons as SMU’s head coach. When he arrived in Dallas, SMU was coming off a one-win season. Morris doubled that win total in 2015 before registering five wins and narrowly missing bowl in 2016. In 2017, SMU broke out with seven wins and 41 points per game.

    The Mustangs finished 12th overall in offensive S&P+, up 50 spots from the year prior.

    The former Clemson offensive coordinator will be charged with improving an Arkansas offense that didn’t score a lot of points and finished a middling 41st in offensive S&P+.

    Morris is bringing an exciting style to Fayetteville and there is no better example of this than SMU’s game against TCU last year. Even though TCU prevailed in the contest, how the Ponies were able to move the ball against the 16th ranked defense in the country was wild.

    This was one of my favorite game plans of 2017.

    Against, TCU’s two-deep safeties, SMU went to an empty formation to isolate a speedy slot receiver (Trey Quinn) on a slower linebacker.

    The quarterback is reading the play-side linebacker to see if he runs with the seam route. When he does, it opens up the middle of the field for the slot to work into.

    Another nice concept to open up the middle of the field against TCU was this inside scissor type concept against TCU’s “stubbie” coverage to the field. In stubbie, the cornerback is locked on the outside receiver man to man. Inside, the sam backer and the safety have rules to match the other two receivers.

    When the No. 2 receiver works in, the Sam falls off to bracket the No. 3 receiver with the safety who has to match him when he runs vertical. That No. 2 receiver runs to the mike, who now has to carry him the rest of the way. A little shake and vertical move by the receiver and he’s open in the end zone.

    Those two plays are very sound concepts but when you’re David trying to take down Goliath like SMU was against TCU—or how the Razorbacks will be against most of their SEC brethren, you need to find creative ways to make big plays. Morris did exactly that.

    Right off the bat, SMU hit TCU with a flea flicker. What I like about this particular play is how Trey Quinn runs at the safety instead of the Sam backer to set up the play.

    Here, Morris uses motion to get the defense to lose the running back for a big play on the wheel route/pick concept.

    Another classic: The receiver screen throwback to the running back on the wheel.

    Not to be outdone, here is your fake screen and go to get a receiver open.

    I. Love. This. Stuff.

    This is the type of creative thinking that’s given Morris’ offenses great success over the years. As long as he keeps the juices flowing, the Arkansas offense should rebound with him at the helm.

    The Bret Bielema style had seemingly run its course in Fayetteville, though we shouldn’t forget 2015 when the Hogs offense was one of the best in the country with Alex Collins and Brandon Allen leading the way.

    The first thing Morris will bring is a faster tempo.

    The 2017 Arkansas offense slowed to almost a standstill, ranking in the 100s in adjusted pace. Morris brings much-needed tempo to the Razorbacks. Last year, SMU ranked 32nd in adjusted pace.

    You’d imagine the offense will be better in 2018—but finding a competent starting quarterback will go a long way in deciding how much better they will be.

    With that said, even if the offense improves, getting wins will not be that easy. The defense fell off a cliff last last season and had been trending down for a couple of years. Whether it was via the pass or the run, the Hogs couldn’t slow down anybody. Morris will turn to “The Chief” John Chavis to try to resurrect things on that side of the ball.

    Unfortunately, Chavis’ Texas A&M defense was also trending downwards by the end of last year. The Aggies ranked 30th and 36th in defensive S&P+ in Chavis’ first two years in College Station, but fell to 71st during a rocky 2017. Chavis is a veteran who’s been around the SEC forever, but this is still a big ask of him.

    Bielema and his staff had done an average job of bringing in talent to the school, finishing twith two-year and five-year recruiting ranks of 26 and 31, respectively. With the coaching change and the early signing period, the Hogs fell to 49th overall according to 247’s rankings. That’s good enough for dead last in the SEC.

    This might be a “year zero” type of situation for Morris as he tries to rebuild and bring in some better players.

    Cleaning up whatever Bielema left behind will not be easy for Morris and his staff. Arkansas fell way below what they feel is their standard in 2017 and it would take just short of a miracle for Morris to launch them back into contention in the SEC West in his first fall on “The Hill.”
  • #2 by wildturkey8 on 06 Jun 2018
  • I love the way Coach Morris interacts with his players in the video.  Very refreshing.
  • #3 by Launcellous on 06 Jun 2018
  • The video was really interesting to see him summarize his time at SMU. Just more information about the mindset he brings. The article was decent about breaking down some plays and how match up oriented the offensive plays are.