FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — It’s been a rough first season at Arkansas for offensive line coach Kurt Anderson.
He’s received heavy criticism from fans and media for his unit’s struggles protecting quarterback Austin Allen and paving the way for the running game against conference opponents.
On Saturday, the offensive line had what can easily be called its most-impressive performance of the season. The Hogs rushed for 223 yards and quarterback Austin Allen was sacked only once as Arkansas rolled to a 31-10 win over No. 11 Florida.
Following the game, Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema took the opportunity to comment on the Anderson’s coaching performance this season.
“I can’t say enough about Kurt,” Bielema said. “I know some of you guys (media) think you’ve got it figured out, but I’ve had a lot of good offensive line coaches. That guy might be the best one I’ve had.”
The Hogs (6-3, 2-3 SEC) had allowed 21 sacks and averaged only 104.5 rushing yards per game against SEC opponents coming into Saturday.
“We’re not very good up there,” Bielema said. “We don’t have a lot of depth. We need to recruit and do a better job of getting football players in this program, and he’s doing an amazing job.”
Bielema also credited Anderson for the development of left tackle Dan Skipper and the decision to insert Johnny Gibson into the starting lineup at right guard against Florida. Jake Raulerson had previously been the starter at right guard.
“Kurt was the one that really pushed this move,” Bielema said. “Kurt thought that this would be a great matchup for him and the way he played.”
Florida entered the game first in the SEC in total defense, allowing an average of 239 yards per game. The Hogs racked up 466 yards Saturday, largely because of an exceptional performance from Anderson’s offensive line.