"You remember that movie, Sergeant York?" Robinson said after Wednesday's practice in full pads. "Our guys are looking up and getting shot in the head. They are getting pelted."
That was an old Gary Cooper movie about a World War I sharpshooter who became a hero for taking out the Germans in the trenches. Robinson thinks the Hogs should be doing a little better in the trenches.
"We've gotten bigger in the defensive line, but we are not winning the line of scrimmage right now."
One of those nice bodies up front is junior college transfer Robert Thomas. Robinson said Thomas "needs to get in the playbook" a little more. There's been too many assignment errors.
"He's got to show that's it is important to him," Robinson said. "He's extremely talented."
Robinson likes some of what he sees, including an intense battle at the field cornerback position. But even that matchup between Isaac Madison and Darius Winston has some drawbacks.
"I wish they showed more maturity," Robinson said. "What I'm getting at, when one of them is moved down from the ones to the twos, the level goes down. At the same time, the level of the other one goes up. You'd like them both to perform at the same level no matter if they are with the ones or the twos."
There was one period with live tackling Wednesday, but all of the work between the offensive and defensive line wa live. It seemed like the offensive line held its own throughout the day. The linebackers did make some plays, but they seemed to have trouble with the complexity and speed of the Arkansas offense. Robinson said he looked for more especially from senior middle linebacker Jerry Franklin.
"He has not been as solid as we'd like," Robinson said. "He needs to bring more of a physical presence. He should be one of our leaders and he does do that in a quiet way. You do hear him in the huddle telling the others what to do, but what you'd really like is for him to show it with the passion in his play. We are still not real happy with that part."
Robinson thinks the move of Eric Bennett from cornerback to safety is paying dividends. He compared it to the move last year with Rudell Crim going from corner to safety.
"Eric still has things to learn," Robinson said. "But that's a good move for us. He's still got to work on his knowledge of the game. We test them in the meeting room and he's still not on an A level. That's probably my fault for not being a better teacher.
"But Eric has helped us tremendously. He will hit and he is going to be a good player there."
Bennett is battling Elton Ford at strong safety.
"Elton is kind of a hot and cold player," Robinson said. "He's very physical and he's savvy. There are times that he has very good days. But there are also times when something else seems to be on his plate and he doesn't have the same focus."
Robinson said he's looking for better tackling as the Hogs head towards a major scrimmage on Saturday morning.
"We want to tackle better," he said. "When we've had live work, we are still inconsistent."
The offense -- with both Tyler Wilson and Brandon Mitchell shining -- hit several deep balls against both the first and second secondary in both 7-on-7 and team segments of practice. Jarius Wright and Marquel Wade consistently beat boundary cornerback Jerry Mitchell on sideline routes. Tramain Thomas, who seemed to have a leg injury, was also having trouble keeping up with Joe Adams, Javontee Herndon and Wade. Tight end Chris Gragg had an impressive day catching the ball, too.
One of the big hits on the day came from reserve defensive back Ryan Farr. He knocked a fumble loose on a play near the sideline that seemed to perk up the defense. Alan Turner also had some impressive plays from the safety position against the third team.
The offensive line continues to impress with several variations in the rotation. True freshman Brey Cook worked with the first team at weakside tackle, then also logged some time at guard with the third team.
There was a report elsewhere that Jake Bequette had missed Tuesday's practice. In reality, he was at most of Tuesday's workout, but left late in the workout to attend a night graduate level class that meets only Tuesday. He was at the entire workout Wednesday.