There's an old saying that if you are scared in your own house you should go buy a dog.
Doesn't appear that University of Arkansas tight end D.J. Williams or any of his teammates will be purchasing any canines this week.
No. 1 Alabama (3-0, 0-0) may be coming to Fayetteville for a Saturday showdown with No. 10 Arkansas (3-0, 1-0), but this is the third time in four years for Williams to take on a top-ranked team and he's 1-1 in those matchups.
"It's fun, especially the number one team coming into your backyard," Williams said Tuesday after practice. "It is what you should want as a football player.
"The thing about this team is that no one on this team is scared," Williams added. "We respect Alabama and they are a great football team, but nobody is going to fear anybody. That is just a big step we have taken as a football team and we are real excited about it."
The Razorbacks beat No. 1 and eventual national champion LSU in Baton Rouge in 2007 and then lost to No. 1 Florida 23-20 last season.
"We are going to have a lot of people on the field Saturday who are going to know what it takes to win a big game," Williams said. "It is going to be a fun, exciting, tough game and it is probably going to be one of those games that comes down to the fourth quarter and we just need to be mentally tough and grind it out all four quarters."
That's certainly what they did Saturday at Georgia after the Bulldogs rallied with two fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the game 24-24.
But a defensive stand and then a 3-play, 73-yard drive in just 32 seconds handed the Razorbacks the win.
The series started with Ryan Mallett passes of 18 and 15 to Williams and was culminated with a toss to Greg Childs and his dash to complete a 40-yard scoring play with 15 seconds left in the game.
"It (the huddle) was very confident and very poised and it seemed like we had bee there before," Williams said. "It was just like it was a practice situation. (Arkansas head) Coach (Bobby) Petrino did a great job preparing us for a two-minute offense. There was less than a minute on the clock and the ball just kept moving. It went smooth. We didn't worry about it being a pressure situation. We just played football."
Arkansas had flourished through the air this season, but struggled mightily in the run game.
"I heard (offensive lineman) Ray (Dominguez) touch on it – it usually is just one guy," Williams said. "The thing about offense is that all 11 people have to click on the same page to make a good play. On defense, one guy can make one big play and make up for everybody. You never know who that one person is going to be so we just need to take care of our job on each and every play."
When Williams first got to Arkansas, it was a run-oriented program and now it's a pass oriented one.
Has changing the nature of the Razorback offense made it too tough to flourish in both aspects?
"I don't want to say it is too difficult," Williams said. "It is just a mindset of coming out and establishing the run game at first to open us the pass and vice-versa…We just need to do our jobs mentally and physically with our assignments and that should take care of our running game."
Alabama has traditionally been known for its great defenses and that has certainly not changed under current head coach Nick Saban.
"I would say just their packages," Williams said. "Saban is known to be a good defensive coach and brings blitzes and all that what-not. We just need to do our job and understand that we have been there before."
Arkansas hung around for a half last season before the Crimson Tide put up three second-half scores while shutting out the Razorbacks.
"Last year coming down to halftime, it was 14-7," Williams said. "We were right in there and we weren't even running smooth on offense. The defense was doing a good job. But we didn't take care of business in the second half."
Williams acknowledges this game is a big challenge, but likes what his team will bring to the football field on Saturday.
"They are a very sound team and you can tell are very well-coached, just like we are well-coached as well," Williams said. "We just need to go out there and stick to our technique and how aggressive we are is going to lead to the outcome of this game."
His fellow students wouldn't let Williams forget about the Alabama game even in class on Tuesday.
"It's unbelievable," Williams said. "I was sitting in my physics lab. People just kept asking me about the Bama game. Bama game this, Bama game that. There are kids already putting tents up and sleeping out there beginning yesterday, which was Monday. The atmosphere is going to be crazy."
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