Can Korliss Marshall make a difference coming off a four-week suspension? That wasn't the question for Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney after practice Thursday night, but it seems like the sophomore running back is in the plan for the LSU game.
"He's had a good week of practice," Chaney said when asked about perhaps the fastest player on the Arkansas squad.
"He calmed down better than the first week (after the suspension). I look for routine with young players and he's better this week.
"He is explosive with the ball in his hands. He has breakaway speed."
The weather forecast was the other main topic for both Chaney and Robb Smith, the UA defensive coordinator. Game time temperatures for the 7 p.m. kickoff Saturday night at Reynolds Razorback Stadium are predicted to be in the high 20s with wind chills in the teens. Neither Chaney or Smith see that as being a big factor.
"The weather is no issue," Chaney said. "I don't see it as something to worry about."
Smith said, "I think both teams will stick to their game plans. Both teams are going to want to run the football regardless."
Chaney doesn't recall many games in his coaching career where the weather became an issue. The lone exception was in 1995 when he was at Wyoming and there was a blizzard in a game with Colorado State.
"I remember we won the game," Chaney said. "That was a game when it was a factor.
"I don't think there is much of a forecast (for precipitation), but if it is wet I've always heard it favors a passing team."
LSU ranks first in the nation in pass efficiency defense.
"They have very fine cornerbacks," Chaney said. "They can really cover on the perimeter. They have linebackers who will knock your head off, real head hunters."
Smith is concerned about stopping the LSU run and tailback Leonard Fournette.
"They have a good group of backs and he's very good," Smith said. "I'll tell you what stands out and that's their offensive line. It all starts with that offensive line. It's a talented group and they will stick with the run.
"We have to tackle well. You have to be very good at tackling against their running backs. You have to limit yards after contact. We need to get 11 guys to the football. We've been better at that as the season has gone along."
The Hogs have been victims of the big play and that goes back to last year against LSU when there were long runs for touchdowns early and then the clinching bomb when the Hogs had the lead in the final minutes.
"That was heartbreak last year," Smith said. "I went back and watched that long play down the sideline. That is certainly on our minds."
The Hogs gave up a 69-yard bomb against Mississippi State in their last outing.
"It took a couple of days to get over that one," Smith said. "We have to have better communication and it starts with this guy. That's been a big part of our demise this year, the big play."
Smith knows part of the LSU offense are called runs by the quarterback and some scrambles. Starter Anthony Jennings can make plays with his feet.
"You have to keep the quarterback in the pocket on passing situations," Smith said. "They also have a naked boot series they like with him running. And, then we have to account for their running backs in the passing game. They will try to slip them down the middle of the field."
Can Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen make more plays with his feet?
"He can at times," Chaney said. "He did that earlier in the year and teams have done a better job of keeping (defenders) in the middle of the field. They are smart about that against us because of that threat with Brandon. But he can run it if that is open. We've done a better job as the season has gone on with our third down conversions in the passing game."
Thursday Grid Update, 11/13
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