Also as explanation for not sniffing an SEC Title: you are Arkansas in a division with LSU and Alabama.
Did Bobby Petrino’s offense-friendly practices have a negative impact on Arkansas’ defense? If what safety Ross Rasner says is true… then it’s entirely possible.
“‘The defensive guys aren’t afraid to make plays out there, where in the past you might lay off a receiver and not break up a pass because…’ Rasner said, trailing off. ‘We were an offensive-minded team, there’s no doubt about that, but with Coach (John L.) Smith coming in… he’s a defensive coach, so there’s a definite change already.’”
Now, it’s certainly a case of connecting a few dots, but it’s not unreasonable to think that a defense scolded for popping receivers and breaking up passes during certain portions of practice might have had a hard time flipping the proverbial switch come gametime.
And for the record, here’s how Petrino’s offenses and defenses ranked in the SEC in terms of points scored and points allowed during his short reign:
2008 Scoring Offense: 7th 2008 Scoring Defense: 12th
2009 Scoring Offense: 1st 2009 Scoring Defense: 9th
2010 Scoring Offense: 2nd 2010 Scoring Defense: 7th
2011 Scoring Offense: 1st 2011 Scoring Defense: 8th