With that decision, Pittman will hand over the play-calling duties to wide receiver coach Kenny Guiton on an interim basis. The 32-year old former Ohio State quarterback is in his third season as the Hogs’ wide receiver and has been coaching at the FBS level since the 2015-16 season at Houston. Despite nearly eight seasons of experience, Guiton has never called plays.
So, why is Sam Pittman trusting him with the offense for this extremely important final stretch of games?
“Well, he knows the offense,” said Pittman. “Obviously, he’s going to need some help probably in the run game, which his expertise would be the pass game as a wideout (coach). He’s a very intelligent guy and obviously, I felt like he knew both.”
“I thought he was the most intelligent guy in the whole offensive package, so that’s why I went with him. He’s very intelligent and you can tell that in yesterday and today’s meeting. I felt like he’ll do a really good job.”
As far as what the offense will look like over these final four games, expect the Hogs to simplify things and get back to more of what they were doing under Kendal Briles.
“I’ve been in meetings yesterday and today with the offensive staff,” Pittman said. We’re trying to eliminate some of the volume we have offensively. You’re not changing offenses, because Lord knows we have a lot of offense. You got to shrink it. In my opinion we have to shrink it down and do a little bit, and let the players make plays.”
“I don’t think we’re going to see anything that we haven’t done this year. I think we may do more of some things that we’ve done a few times. And then you could see a faster pace and some things of that nature. But our volume is what we’re cutting down so that we can do something really well.”
Pittman also mentioned how the team will have more of an emphasis on moving the pocket for KJ Jefferson instead of having him drop back nearly 30 times per game. When asked why the team has not been doing that in recent weeks, Pittman suggested that the team has practiced moving the pocket more, but those plays were not getting called during games.
There is still a lot of issues with the Razorback offense that will take more than just an in-season scheme change to fix. That said, playing with tempo, making an effort to get playmakers the ball and letting KJ Jefferson be KJ Jefferson have all proven successful over the last couple of seasons. It will be interesting to see if Guiton’s version of the offense can produce a similar level of success in short order.
Arkansas is on a BYE this week and returns to action on November 4 on the road against the Florida Gators. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.