Wednesday Grid Update, 9/28

Arkansas worked on tackling the last two days in physical practices inside Walker Pavilion in preparation for Texas A&M. Linebacker Jerry Franklin said it was "about wrapping up" in Wednesday's workout.

On Tuesday, the word from the offensive coordinator concerned the level of competitive spirit. On Wednesday, defensive coordinator Willy Robinson talked about the way some defenders "ducked their heads" instead of tackling the proper way.

But it was much simpler when senior linebacker Jerry Franklin discussed the 38-14 loss Arkansas took at Alabama.

"We got our butts kicked," Franklin said.

Franklin was asked how the response to that will be this week when the Razorbacks play Texas A&M in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

"We move on," he said. "We didn't get a lot accomplished in the last game. We move on to this game. That's what we do. It's a different team, a different week.

"We have to bounce back. We can't let anything carry over. You have to go get a win."

Franklin said the practices this week featured extra sessions on tackling.

"We weren't trying to thud in these practices," he said. "We worked on wrapping up, proper tackling fundamentals."

The Aggies might be another team in another week, but Franklin said it's hardly just another game. He said the Southwest Classic is a special game because of the setting.

"It isn't just another game," he said. "We know what it's going to be like. It's a great, great atmosphere in a great stadium."

The Hogs moved inside Walker Pavilion the last two days to get the feeling of playing indoor. Robinson said Wednesday's practice was better than the day before.

"We were fast today," he said. "We gave a lot better effort. The kids saw how they looked on video the day before and they were disappointed. It was good today."

The tackling against Alabama wasn't very good. Robinson was asked how Tramain Thomas practiced after missing tackles against Alabama. Thomas finished the game on the bench.

"He was disappointed in the way he played," Robinson said. "He knew it was the last time he was going to get to play against Alabama. Everyone has a bad day at some point, but he wasn't alone. We just couldn't allow it to continue. We should have (pulled him) sooner.

"Really, with the way we tackled -- there were multiple missed tackles -- we could have put in a whole new unit. We'll see how we fight back.

"We've got to tackle better. We talked about what we had to do against that back. You have to swarm him. Arm tackles aren't going to get it. He's not going to go down with one hit.

"What I saw was we were on the ground. Great players don't go to the ground. They might roll off someone but they land on their feet. You can't duck your heads.

"We were shocked and discouraged -- we have to play with great courage."

There was at least some talk of the A&M game. The Hogs know it's a change of pace with a spread offense and a hurry-up style.

"We've played against that style," Robinson said. "It's more like Troy and then we had to switch to Alabama's power running.

"We have great respect for (A&M). We saw the way (Ryan) Tannehill leads their team and how they accelerated things when he took over at quarterback last year. He can throw to the right, the left, throw on the run from the right, the left and he can run. He's very talented.

"We really like their running backs. They complement each other. We really like their set of receivers. They have a lot of experience and ability.

"The pace of play is extremely fast. We've got to switch gears and get back to that fast pace like Troy."

Defensive end Chris Smith said he's worked on stamina this week after playing every snap last week when the Hogs had another injury at defensive end. Tenarius Wright sustained a broken arm early in the game.

"I will say that the long TV timeouts helped," Smith said, laughing a little. "I knew I was going to have to step up and play more snaps when Tank went down. I got tired, but it might have been more mental than physical and I can correct that. I must have more stamina against this type of offense this week."

Smith praised true freshman Trey Flowers for his work at end after Wright was injured.

"I think we were all proud of Trey," Smith said. "The coaches said they were proud of how he came in and played."

Flowers has a broken hand. He's played with a splint, but it's improved enough that he now has movement in his wrist.

"I thought it was kinda messed up when you look at losing your two starting ends, then the guy who comes in has a cast on his hand," Smith said, chuckling at the iron.

"But he was ready to play and did well."

Flowers was haunted by at least one play, a long screen pass for a touchdown. He was in position for an interception, but it didn't happen.

"That was a play we worked against over and over," he said. "I read it. Then there was the ball and I missed it. I've seen that play in my mind over and over. I can't believe I didn't get it. I was in the right place. Like I said, we'd worked on that play a lot."

The Hogs didn't make plays at cornerback against Troy. How did the corners play against Alabama.

"They really didn't go after our corners," Robinson said. "They didn't test them. They didn't have to because they were able to pound the ball."

Cornerback Isaac Madison left the game against Alabama because of injury. Will he play against A&M?

"He's day to day," Robinson said. "We don't know."

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