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Defense steps up

Defense steps up

FAYETTEVILLE – The Razorback football team was on the field again Wednesday preparing for its game with South Carolina scheduled for Saturday at noon central in Columbia, S.C. In the plans for practice was a steady dose of game planning and special teams work as the Hogs look to even their record on the year in a hostile environment.

“[Practice] was good,” Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson said after ending the day’s session. “We’ve thrown a lot at them this week. It was good.”

The Razorbacks have had some tough luck when it comes to injuries during the season, but have found quality players at every position despite the setbacks. Several players have especially impressed Robinson throughout the season.

“I think the kid that has really stepped up is [Zach] Stadther,” Robinson said. “I think that he is doing a great job for us inside. The thing about him is that he is awfully humble and he comes out every day and tries to get better and I think that is a quality that he will keep just because of the way he was raised.

“Tramain Thomas stepped in last week at the safety position when we got people hurt and I thought did a great job for us and made a key stop on a fourth down situation. They are all playing a roll and unfortunately the guys that we are losing are some of the freshmen that we started with that were real keys for us that brought some enthusiasm and toughness. So it is unfortunate that we lost those guys and yet we have other young kids that are stepping up and playing for us; guys that were backups and scout team guys in the beginning of the year. Shedrick Johnson is stepping up, [Ramon] Broadway; the way that he is playing is unbelievable.”

Another player that stepped into a roll for the Razorbacks was defensive lineman Chris Berezansky.

“Unbelievable,” Robinson said of Berezansky’s play. “We started the week and he was on the scout team and then came over on Wednesday and he played with us and he did a great job for us on Saturday.”

South Carolina has made a name for itself this season on the defensive side of the ball, but Arkansas knows that South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier can make things very difficult with his offense.

“They keep you off balance,” Robinson said of the Carolina offense. “They have multiple formations. It’s not unlike anything else we’ve been seeing. [They have a] good quarterback, talented, talented tight end. They give you a lot of problems with some of the routes they run which are meant to beat certain coverages so we just have to make sure that we stay away from those coverages or if we do play it, know how to help to not get beat.”

The Razorbacks go back to the practice field on Thursday to finalize their game plan for South Carolina before traveling to Columbia on Friday. The Gamecocks and Razorback game is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN’s Game Plan at noon, central on Saturday.

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Sports Category : Football