FAYETTEVILLE – The Razorback football team finished up its practice schedule for Saturday’s contest with 20th-ranked Auburn on Thursday with a shoulder-pads and shorts practice on the fields behind Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Arkansas takes on the Auburn Tigers on Saturday evening at 4 p.m. in Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala.
The Razorbacks looked sharp in their final tune up with pads continuing to generate a buzz amongst the team with a high intensity workout.
“It was a really good Thursday practice,” Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson said.
The Razorbacks looked better in their game a week ago against 11th-ranked Florida, their third ranked opponent in as many weeks, but Robinson and the rest of the Arkansas staff is not going to settle for a game well played.
“There are no moral victories,” Robinson said. “Obviously we have to learn how to finish things. We started better, we were strong in the middle and we have to learn to finish things. Obviously, we kept it simple and they played faster and they played harder.”
Arkansas is expecting a steady dose of the run from Auburn’s offense this weekend.
“Yes we did [anticipate the changes to the Auburn offense],” Robinson said. “You have to look at your weaknesses first and our weakness is not being able to stop the run. So you have to figure whether Coach Franklin was there or not their game plan was going to run the football. So we kind of took that approach anyways.”
Robinson and the Razorback staff have stressed run defense the entire week and the extra emphasis on bottling up the opponents run seems to be paying off.
“We look good,” Robinson said. “We practiced and each day we got better with [stopping the run]. It’s not Auburn’s offensive line or Auburn’s quarterback, which if [Kodi Burns] does start that adds another dimension kind of what we have been facing the last two weeks with the Texas kid and the Florida kid. Those guys are really good athletes back there and we’ll see a lot more play action. They’ll move him around in the pocket and give him the option to either throw or run with it.”
With an injury in the Arkansas secondary, sophomore Ramon Broadway is expected to start at cornerback and Robinson feels good about the change to his defense.
“He’s done some things and stepped it up,” Robinson said. “It’s a matter of being able to do it in the fire. He’s had some opportunities during the games and he’s been a little inconsistent but now he’ll start. It’s always hard to come into the game as opposed to starting the game. The flow, getting into the game, getting the feel for the receiver, that’s where you have to count on the guy that does start when you are sitting on the bench you hope that the guys communicate a little bit.”
The Razorbacks travel on Friday before Saturday’s Southeastern Conference match up. For more information regarding Razorback football or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.