FAYETTEVILLE – The enthusiasm and drive was clear for the Arkansas football team on Wednesday afternoon at their practice inside Walker Pavilion. Shouts of encouragement and a spring in the players’ steps pleased the Razorback coaching staff as it prepares to face Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday.
The Razorbacks continued their work on fundamentals for the opening portion of practice before moving on to the game plan for Saturday’s contest. The Razorbacks worked on the run and pass during Wednesday’s drills before ending with kickoff coverage and field goals.
“The thing that we have to get over is that it isn’t one day on and one day off,” defensive coordinator Willy Robinson said in reference to the emotion of Wednesday’s practice. “We need to be on a consistent level and I think that today we achieved that. The thing is that we have to hope that we get it tomorrow, we’ll demand that we get it tomorrow and hopefully they’ll respond.”
The Razorbacks are back on the practice field on Thursday afternoon for an intense practice before traveling to Little Rock, Ark., on Friday.
When asked about his defense’s play last weekend, Robinson was complimentary but understands that there is room for improvement.
“I thought our gap control was probably where we need to be more physical and more sound,” Robinson said. “I thought our tackling was pretty good in the last game. We had few missed tackles and our effort to the ball was pretty decent. Where we need to improve is up front but we feel that with our practice this week we are getting there. Now we need to line up and play.
“I’m never happy with anything,” Robinson continued. “But passing game wise I thought we did our job for the most part. Our biggest disappointment is that we didn’t win third down like we wanted to. (Western Illinois) was 7 of 17 and it was a good football team whether it was the run or the pass. I’ll take two of those things on me. I made bad calls, but the kids tried to make it right. When you think about the fact that I made a bad call and they tried to make it right, we can grow on that.”
Robinson was also asked about his young players that made their Razorback debuts against Western Illinois.
“They played a lot of plays, the freshman,” Robinson recalls. “Off the top of my head there were two of them that played every snap and they were productive as heck. They got the jitters out and they’ll play again for us this week and hopefully the numbers aren’t as much but they’ll play again. It just seemed that as the game went along they got stronger and more disciplined in the things we were asking them to do.”
The Razorbacks take on Louisiana-Monroe at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Ark., on Saturday at 6 p.m. The game is scheduled to be broadcast on a pay-per-view. For more information regarding Razorback football or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.