FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas football team, fresh off its 31-24 victory at Georgia, refocuses itself this week to match up with top-ranked Southeastern Conference foe, Alabama (3-0). The Razorbacks, ranked 10th in the AP poll, are 3-0 (1-0, SEC) for the first time since 2003. The matchup is the first time two top 10 teams will meet in Fayetteville since 1979.
Head coach Bobby Petrino, in his third year leading Arkansas, sees the coming week of preparation to be carried out routinely by the Razorback squad.
"We know it’s a big week this week with Alabama coming in here," Coach Petrino said. "I think our players are excited about it; I know our coaches are. We have to make sure and prepare like we did a week ago with focus, energy and excitement."
In Arkansas’ win at UGA, Coach Petrino saw the Razorbacks take a step forward in his plan for progression this season. Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett secured the game for UA with a 40-yard pass to wide receiver Greg Childs with 15 seconds remaining in the game.
"Going back to the Georgia game, it was a great win for us," Coach Petrino said. "I think the biggest thing is that we matured and grew up as a football team. We knew going into the game that it was going to take a team effort"
The Razorback offense has continued to impress in 2010, with the unit leading the SEC in passing offense (367.7, 3rd in NCAA) and ranking third in total offense (483.7, 15th in NCAA). Not to be outdone, the Arkansas defenders top the conference in sacks, with 4.0 per game.
"We have to really understand as a team that we don’t need to go out and do anything extraordinary to win the game," Coach Petrino said. "We need to go out and play Razorback football and we’ll have an opportunity to win the game. That’s kind of what our theme will be for the week. We know that Alabama is a very good football team. They are very good on offense. They are very physical and can run and throw the ball. Defensively, they are very good. We have a challenge ahead of us and are really looking forward to it."
Saturday’s contest will be televised by CBS at 2:30 p.m. For more information on Razorback football, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.