Opponent Scouting Report: Arkansas Razorbacks Offense, Position-By-Position

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Oct 5, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks offensive tackle Dan Skipper (76) reacts after blocking a field goal during the first half of the game against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Line

The Razorbacks offensive line paved the way for a solid rushing attack last year, but also provided protection for Brandon Allen. Arkansas didn’t plan to throw much in 2013 (and ranked 112th in the nation in passing attempts), but they were forced to at times – especially in the middle of the season – because they were facing big deficits. The offensive line was really very solid all year and allowed only eight sacks, which were the fewest in the SEC. Tennessee ranked second with 15, so the Hogs actually led by a wide margin.

Three starters return for the Razorbacks up front, but the team does lose All-SEC center Travis Swanson. Swanson started 50 games for Arkansas across his four seasons in Fayetteville and was a team captain for multiple seasons.

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  • Dan Skipper was a starter at left guard last season, taking the reins in the SEC opener and finishing with eight consecutive starts, but he will move to left tackle in 2014. Skipper is huge – 6-foot-10 and 315 pounds – but is very athletic. He is a surprisingly good run blocker for his height, and could be a star soon.

    Skipper was not the only true freshman to start for Arkansas over the final eight games of the season. Denver Kirkland handled the role at right guard, and will return there for his sophomore campaign. The third returning starter is senior Bray Cook at right tackle. .

    Luke Charpentier and Mitch Smothers have won the starting spots at left guard and center, respectively. Both positions were big questions after the spring, and it is possible that newcomers could eventually overtake one player or the other.

    Junior college transfer Sebastian Tretola is a player to watch, as is true freshman Frank Ragnow. Cameron Johnson was a three-year starter at UNLV, but transferred to Arkansas to play his senior season. Brian Wallace was one of the most highly sought after offensive linemen in the most recent recruiting class, and is a future standout. Johnathan McClure will provide depth at guard.

    Grady Ollison started five games at right tackle last year, but could not nail down the spot. He was expected to compete at left guard, but instead has been moved to defense.