FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas football team practiced Wednesday in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, readying for Saturday’s matchup with Alabama. The Razorbacks, ranked 10th in the latest AP poll, are 3-0 (1-0, SEC) for the first time since 2003 as they take on the top-ranked Crimson Tide. Defensive coordinator and secondary coach Willy Robinson thinks his UA defenders are up to the task for this weekend.
"We’re familiar with these guys," Coach Robinson said. "Running is one of those things they do so well. They can pick and choose their theme for the week, though. They’re tough."
Tough is a good word to use describing the Razorback defense; through three games this season, the unit leads the Southeastern Conference in sacks per game (4.0, 4th in NCAA). Coach Robinson noted their strong play is about being reactionary in all situations.
"Our guys do a good job of recognizing plays and getting to the football," Coach Robinson said. "One of the biggest things we’ve stressed more than anything is staying on our feet."
Coach Robinson wants his Razorback defense to stay upright on plays to maximize their potential. Being able to make plays will increase their chances in disrupting Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy, Coach Robinson noted.
"(McElroy) has managed that football team," Coach Robinson said. "He understands everything. You can’t get him flustered."
The Razorback defense has been testing itself this week against the league’s top passing attack. UA leads the SEC in passing offense, averaging 367.7 passing yards per game. The defensive unit has been seeing the results on the field, ranking second in the conference in tackles for a loss (8.7, T4th in NCAA) and scoring defense (11.3, T5th in NCAA).
Arkansas continues drills Thursday leading up to the weekend contest that is airing at 2:30 p.m. on CBS. For more information on Razorback football, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.