Hair On Fire

New Mexico quarterback Tarean Austin was sacked time after time last week in his team's opener - something that the Razorback defensive ends noted - but he also showed the ability to create when not under heavy pressure.

When you are a defensive player and you hear that you're next foe had its quarterback sacked 10 times, it perks up the ears.

So says Arkansas sophomore defensive end Chris Smith, who was brought to Arkansas in large part because of his ability to get to the quarterback.

"All the D-ends have talked about it," noted Smith, who was credited with a half of one of his team's two sacks last week. "We want a piece of those 10 sacks, but we have to come out and play our responsibilities first and let the game come to us."

The Razorbacks (1-0) host New Mexico (0-1) Saturday night in Little Rock with the Lobos hoping to keep sophomore quarterback Tarean Austin more upright this week.

Arkansas senior defensive end knows that New Mexico will try different things this week.

"We'll have to be ready for some different looks," Bequette said. "They will probably make some changes in their protections."

Austin (6-2, 205) did complete 20-of-31 passes for 179 yards when he was able to get the ball out.

He also rushed for 105 yards forward, but ended with just 57 total rushing yards on 25 carries because of the 48 yards New Mexico went backwards in sacks.

The sack total actually dropped to nine on Monday with an official stat change, but that doesn't offset the fact that Austin is a mobile quarterback of the kind that gave Arkansas fits last season.

"We are working on a level rush," Smith said in hoping to improve in that area this season. "That means when you get the quarterback level, come under him. That is what we have got to do. There are a lot of quarterbacks running and we can't rush past them. We have been working on that a lot this week. We are up for the task."

Arkansas defense was dominating in a 51-7 win over an overmatched Missouri State squad last week, but left the field mad because of not getting a shutout.

Bequette said the defense was disappointed not to get the shutout against Missouri State.

"Very disappointed," he said. "We didn't want to let them score. We were all angry after the game. That was the goal and it was disappointing.

Smith noted there was still room for improvement.

"We did a lot of things good, but we need to do a lot better," Smith said. "We need to work on our effort more. That is the one scary thing to an offense when a defense runs around. We have just got to play hard and take it one game at a time and we will be okay.

"We do need to play like our hair is on fire and that every play is our last," Smith added.

Arkansas played five defensive ends in the game with Smith, Bequette and Tenarius Wright and true freshman Tyler Gilbert and Trey Flowers all getting snaps.

"It went good," Smith said. "Tyler Gilbert and Trey Flowers got some good quality reps. Jake and Tank (Wright) and myself – we didn't get a lot because they just kept going three-and-out."

Indeed Bequette was keeping count.

"We did get off the field quickly," Bequette said. "We had six three-and-out series."

Smith notes that the Razorback can't settle for less than perfection.

"We have just got to take coaching and do everything right," Smith said. "We have perfect Thursday coming up to get ready to play perfect on Saturday."


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