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How Hornsby, Hogs’ Scout Team Giving Good Look on Georgia Southern

Malik Hornsby's performance against the No. 1 defense can give them good idea what they will be facing with Eagles' Justin Tomlin.

Maybe the biggest question mark for Arkansas going into Saturday's matchup with Georgia Southern is they have nothing to see with the starting quarterback.

Justin Tomlin will be taking his first snaps of the season so that means they've had to go back to last season to get an idea what he does.

"They've pitched the ball on the option maybe four times this year," Sam Pittman said Wednesday afternoon.

Tomlin has more variety.

"He's gonna pitch it if he needs to pitch it," Pittman said. "He's going to keep it if he needs to or he's gonna hand it off. He's got experience at it.

"He's a very good athlete, elusive, fast. I like him."

Combined with what Pittman called a "lack of intensity" in Tuesday afternoon's practice, he changed things up Wednesday.

"We went 2's vs. 1's today," he said on his radio show Wednesday night. "That was so we could have Malik Hornsby could run the option against the No. 1 defense. We did a good job of fitting that up today."

Tomlin may be fast, but he hasn't got Hornsby's speed, which was good enough to anchor a record-setting 4x100 high school relay team in track.

"He's usually the fastest guy on the field," Pittman said earlier this week.

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Georgia Southern's triple option offense isn't something seen much these days. Especially in the first two games where they did a lot of handing the ball off or the quarterback keeping it.

Tomlin does it a little differently.

"Last year with the quarterback that's going to play against us (Tomlin), they pitched it all over the place," Pittman said. "I'm sure he'll run the triple option like they're supposed to run it."

"Our scout team was part of the problem yesterday," Pittman said earlier Wednesday. "I don’t think we did a great job on either side of the ball on scout team."

Apparently that changed in Wednesday afternoon's workout.

Hornsby's speed gives the Hogs' defense a chance to see the speed like they'll face in a game, which is the biggest problems teams have had stopping a triple option for the last 30 years or so.

Older Hog fans should know exactly what that means.

Ken Hatfield had some pretty good teams because they couldn't give their defense any idea how fast Greg Thomas and Quinn Grovey would be coming at them with the option.

By the time they figured it out things were already out of hand.

Which is why Pittman is hoping Hornsby has already shown his defense some real speed.