Offensive Coordinator Jim Chaney on practice this week: “I think we’ve had a very good week of practice. We had a very physical game on Saturday. Then we came out on Tuesday and Wednesday and we took care of business. Today, we polished stuff up and I think we look like a good football team. I’m pleased with how they practiced. I think it eliminates a lot of anxiety when the guys go out there practice well. At the end of the day, we still have to go out and perform well on Saturday, but I think they’ve put themselves in a good position to do that.”
Chaney on Northern Illinois’ defense: “I think Northern Illinois is as well coached as any team we’ll play all year. They’re very good and they expect a win every game. They have very few fleas schematically. They understand their defensive scheme and they take away things before you think about getting to them. I’m very impressed with what they do. They go on the road and they play well.”
Chaney on the Arkansas passing game: “I’m comfortable with it. I think we can go out there and throw the football if we need to or want to. That’s the key—having the balance that we might want to in certain games. I think people feel like we didn’t want to throw it last week, but that just wasn’t part of the plan. This week the plan might be something else, but we’ll see how it plays out. Our kids will be able to perform if they’re asked to do so.”
Defensive Coordinator Robb Smith on Northern Illinois’ offense: “These guys have done a great job throwing the football. I think their rushing stats really jump out at you. They move several people around at the wide receiver core that we have to be aware of. It’s going to be a challenge for us and we have to make sure we’re committed to the run, but at the same time can still take away the play action pass and vertical pass game.”
Smith on the Arkansas defense improving: “There’s no question we’re improving. It’s small and it’s gradual, but I think our guys have embraced Coach Bret Bielema’s 1-0 attitude. If we can keep improving on a daily basis that’s when you really get better as a defense. There’s some highs and lows from last week. We have to improve on the lows and maintain the things we did well. If we can do that, we’ll be a better football team and a better defense on a weekly basis.”
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