Sophomore starting defensive tackle D.D. Jones was arrested after midnight Tuesday night and charged with possession of a controlled substance.
While Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino doesn't talk to the media post-practice on Wednesdays, he did comment on the matter earlier in the day on the SEC Coach's Teleconference.
UA defensive coordinator Willy Robinson was asked if he expected to have Jones available on Saturday when the No. 18 Razorbacks (5-2, 2-2) host Vanderbilt (2-5, 1-3) in a 6 p.m. Homecoming game.
"You know what? We play the guys that dress for us on Saturday," Robinson said. "That other issue will be handled internally. We've just got to move on from that."
Asked again, Robinson deferred to his head coach.
"Again, I would say that we will handle that internally and that won't be decided until then (Saturday)," Robinson said. "I'm sure that Coach (Petrino) will handle that the way we need to handle and that is what is best for the team."
Senior Patrick Jones, who is part of a rotation that also includes true freshman Byran Jones, juniors Zach Stadther and LaVunce Askew and sophomore Alfred Davis, said the rest of the defensive line has to step up.
"I haven't got to talk to him, but I texted him and I'm in his corner," Pat Jones said. "He is like a little brother to me. We all have his back, but we have just got to concentrate on Vanderbilt now and the task at hand."
The defensive line has been a strength this season for Arkansas.
"It helps that everybody in the interior has some experience and we have been bringing Byran along," Jones said. "Anytime you lose a guy it is kind of like a setback, but other guys have to step up and I think we will do it.
"We been preparing for things like this because we didn't have Zach for those first few games and we made up for it," Jones continued. "I think we will do just fine with the five we got. Like I said, we will just have to elevate our play and take more reps, but it won't be a problem."
Junior defensive end Jake Bequette agreed with that sentiment.
"One thing we have been blessed with all year is a lot of interior depth," Bequette said. "We have a lot of guys getting a lot of reps and pretty much rotating in and playing as much as the starters. So we will basically who could have been starting who actually now are going to be starting."
Robinson praised the way Byran Jones – who has taken over a starting role the last few games - is coming along as a rookie.
"Byran Jones continues to improve every week," Robinson said. "He wants to be so much more productive each week and he is continuing to do that."
Arkansas is coming off a 38-24 win over Ole Miss, but the defense faltered in the second half and ended up giving 512 yards – including over 300 in the air.
"I don't think you can be (just satisfied with the win) when somebody puts up 500 yards," Robinson said. "In the first half, we were extremely pleased. The second half we lost focus and were real sloppy as tacklers.
"We have got to continue to get better and make sure we play a full 60 minutes," Robinson said. "We did that early and we just have to keep kids fresh and do the things that you learn in practice to do. If you do it in practice, there is no reason you can't do it in a game."
"I think we have to play better technique," Robinson said. "I think we have kind of stressed that throughout the week. Bad habits are learned throughout practice and we have got to sit down and confront that and make sure it doesn't happen again."
Robinson made it clear he was not happy with the way his secondary members went after the football.
"We had kids that were position to make plays and there is such a thing as competing," Robinson said. "If you can put your player in a position to compete, then it is a want-to to go and make the play.
"Competition - when those times occur- you have got to make it your job to compete and understand that it is 1-on-1 battles," Robinson continued. "Those 1-on-1 battles occur every snap up front and those guys take 70 to 80 snaps a game and are competing their rear ends off. They are getting off on contact, getting off blocks and reading things.
"All you have got to do is compete against a receiver and that's 1-on-1," Robinson added. "Let's go compete. We are trying to address that and make sure it is all about technique and making sure we do things right."
Vanderbilt switched offensive coordinators on Monday with running game coordinator Des Kitchings taking over for Jimmy Kiser, who will just handle coaching the quarterbacks now.
"We've got back and forth on that, but we're not so concerned about that part of it," Robinson said. "We fell like from what we are hearing, they are going to run the ball a little bit more and off that we know they'll have their play-action passes, which have been really good for them. I can't imagine they will change a whole bunch from what they did.
"It's a lot like the Mississippi State and Florida stuff last year with the same formations," Robinson said. "They are probably not as experienced up front as they want to be, but they do an awfully good job of getting hats on hats.
"They are skilled at the running back position and they've got some favorites at the wideouts."
Redshirt junior Larry Smith (6-2, 220) is the fourth straight dual-threat quarterback the Razorback defense will have faced.
"10 does a great job of running their offense," Robinson said. "He's dynamic. He is not unlike the guys we have faced the last two weeks. He obviously is not of the same size as Newton and might not be as fast overall as Masoli, but he is awfully quick and does a good job of running the ball."
Pat Jones says he is impressed with what he seen of Vanderbilt on video.
"I think a lot of people underestimate them," Jones said. "I think they can present a lot of problems. They get a lot of blockers on defensive players, a lot of hats on hats. They have a nice little option game they run. They try to establish the run game and if you let them stay in there, Vanderbilt is a good enough team they can beat anyone.
"As long as we stop the run and take away their dual threat, I think we will be fine," Jones added.
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Robinson said that there is a great deal of excitement in the plans for a new football operations.
"We're excited about that as a coaching staff and we know our players are," Robinson said. "As a senior that is leaving this University, I think you take great pride in that you had a lot to do with helping build something like that. Whether they believe it or not, they have been part of that. "We know our underclassmen are extremely excited and it is going to help us in recruiting," Robinson added. "Our program is taking the next step on improving the areas that we need to improve on to sit down there and compete with the next tier. We feel like there are a few more teams around the country that have great facilities and we are really excited about that as a staff and as a team."