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JUST IN: Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman reveals the #1 target for the……

JUST IN: Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman reveal board offensive coordinator top target with other key additional top priority

FAYETTEVILLE, SC — The priorities were clear for University of Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman on Friday night, following his team’s season-ending 48-14 loss to No. 9 Missouri in the Battle Line Rivalry.

Pittman wants to hire an offensive coordinator, make roster decisions, and begin repairing the Razorbacks’ offensive line as soon as possible after a 4-8 season that ended with a 2-4 record at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

“Hopefully, we’ll have a coordinator in here in less than a week,” Pittman said on the Razorback Sports Network. “And I told the kids that we just have a lot of work to do, and that we as coaches have a lot of work to do as well.”

Pittman was asked early in his postgame news conference how he could “change the momentum” in the program following a 34-point home loss, and he initially showed irritation, said “I don’t know,” and quickly shifted to another question.


He later responded to the question.

“The first thing is you’ve got to go and find an offensive coordinator,” the coach said. “One who wishes to be here.” One that, you know, would be fun if the guy knew the state and the SEC and all that sort of stuff.

“I will say this: Arkansas is highly regarded by some of the people I’ve spoken with. I’m confident that we’ll find an offensive coordinator who wants to be here.

Outside of interim coordinator Kenny Guiton, some early candidates for the position include UNLV offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brennan Marion and Oklahoma analyst Seth Littrell, the former North Texas head coach.

Marion is a Tulsa graduate who spent a year at Texas before joining former Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom’s first-year staff at UNLV. The Rebels entered Saturday’s game against San Jose State ranked 38th in the FBS with 425.5 yards per game.

Littrell, a running back on Oklahoma’s 2000 national championship team, led North Texas to a 44-44 record, including a 44-17 victory over Arkansas in 2018.

Former Razorback Dowell Loggains, the first-year offensive coordinator at South Carolina, is another intriguing possibility. In 2020-21, Loggains served as tight ends coach under Pittman and was ostensibly the offensive coordinator in waiting. He arrived at South Carolina a month before then-UA offensive coordinator Kendal Briles left to join the TCU staff.

Pittman was asked to elaborate on his suggestion last week that the Razorbacks would have a stronger Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) position entering the offseason.

“I can’t, and I wish I could,” he admitted. “However, I feel a lot better about it now.” I believe we will be very competitive there, and I am very excited about it. I believe there is a good chance for

“I’m thrilled with our NIL situation.”

Arkansas had its second-lowest total offense total since 2001, with 3,918 yards.

 

Pittman claimed that the mediocre offense was largely due to one blunder.

“Of all the problems that we’ve had this year, in all honesty it all stemmed, a bunch of it, because we can’t run the football,” he went on to say. “That would be my No. 1 thing is to sit down and visit with a man that knows how to run the football.”

Arkansas had 1,668 rushing yards, its fewest in a 12-game season since the team had 1,424 yards in 2012.

The Razorbacks rushed for 1,513 yards (in 10 games), 2,961 yards, and 3,077 yards in Pittman’s first three seasons with Briles as offensive coordinator, while totaling 3,915, 5,742, and 6,128 yards.

After the Razorbacks struggled to incorporate Dan Enos’ pro-style schemes in the previous run-pass option attack, Pittman was asked what type of offense he preferred.

 

“You certainly want a guy that brings something special to the university, whether that be what KB [Briles] did in the past, whether that be a combination of what Kendal did and some pro style stuff,” Pittman went on to say. “I believe we need a guy who genuinely wants to be here and is familiar with Arkansas.” But the most important thing is that we find someone who understands.

Pittman stated that he has already spoken with interim offensive coordinator Kenny Guiton about the next steps in the search for a full-time coordinator. Guiton made his debut in a 39-36 overtime win over Florida as the Razorbacks ran a more up-tempo offense with tweaks in an empty backfield set.

In the following games, however, SEC defenses honed in on that attack, with Auburn holding the Hogs to 255 yards and Missouri holding them to 234 yards.

Arkansas averaged 367.5 yards per game in four games under Guiton, including a season-high 510 yards against Florida International on Nov. 18, after averaging 305.9 yards in the previous eight games under Enos.

Guiton “did a great job” in his four games, according to Pittman.

“I’m really pleased with what he did as the offensive coordinator,” he was quoted as saying. “I mean, beating Florida and then scoring 44 — well, I think the defense scored some — 37 last week.” And I’m grateful to him because he worked his buttocks off and did the best job he could. “I’m grateful for him.”

Pittman was unsure whether Guiton would remain as receivers coach if he hired an offensive coordinator from outside the staff

He was also evasive when asked if he planned to keep the entire defensive staff. Arkansas defensive coordinator Travis Williams and defensive assistants Marcus Woodson, Deke Adams, and Derke Wilson led a significant rebound. The Razorbacks allowed 4,286 yards, their lowest total since allowing 4,204 yards in 13 games in 2014.

 

“Those are hard questions to answer,” Pittman admitted. “Obviously, I’d like a little more time to evaluate everyone.” But those are difficult to answer at this time. We just got kicked in the buttocks. I need to spend some time determining exactly what we need to do for the entire staff.”

Pittman stated in his postgame news conference that time is of the essence in bringing on an offensive coordinator, and he hopes to have it done within the next week.

“I hope so, because the portal comes open on [Dec. 4], so obviously with the kids that we have that are committed, you want to be right, but you also want to be as fast as you possibly can,” he was quoted as saying. “You’d like to bring some guys in here maybe Tuesday and Wednesday so they can talk to the kids before we leave.” I’m not sure if that’s possible, but we’ve obviously had conversations with a variety of people.”

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