FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Razorbacks (2-3, 0-2 SEC) continued to prepare for their Southeastern Conference match-up against Auburn (4-1, 2-0 SEC) by practicing for a little over 90 minutes in shorts and shells. Arkansas concentrated on the Tigers’ defense and stopping their running game.
“We had a good day of concentration and that’s what it’s going to take on every play,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “They have a great defense, but again I’m more concerned about our guys taking the proper first step, knowing who to block and defensively stop the run. They’ll try to take some chances with big wide outs, but you stop the run and you have a good chance.”
Nutt also mentioned Auburn’s excellent kickoff and punt return teams and the importance of UA’s special teams. The Tigers are leading the SEC and the NCAA in kickoff return yards with a 36.4 average. On punts they are averaging 10.22 yards.
“Special teams has to play a real important role,” Nutt said. “They have good kickoff and punt return teams. It’s going to take every phase and everyone on the sideline to win this ball game.”
Senior center Kyle Roper, junior tight end Wes Murphy and junior flanker Cedric Washington were all kept out of last weekend’s game against Louisiana-Monroe because of injuries. They have taken this week to improve and Nutt commented on their status.
“Kyle Roper and Cedric Washington continue to get better,” Nutt said. “Washington is a little further ahead and he’s going to be fine. We held out (Wes) Murphy today, but he walked through a few things. Roper got about half a team. I expect Murphy to be ok, but I won’t know about Roper until the game. He acts likes he’s trying to get there and it’s encouraging.”
Arkansas will face No. 21 Auburn at 6 p.m. at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Ark. The game will not be televised.