Robb Smith pointed at himself after loss to Texas Tech

Arkansas defensive coordinator Robb Smith hopes to have a better plan for this week's game with another spread team. The Hogs meet Texas A&M in Arlington after a 35-24 loss to Texas Tech.

One of the early questions Monday afternoon for Robb Smith concerned finding a more aggressive nature for the Arkansas defense after not forcing a punt in a 35-24 loss to Texas Tech. Is it a matter of getting more aggression for the players?

"We have to have a better plan," Smith said. "It starts with me. I've got to do a better job.

"I think it's 99 percent getting guys in the right place. It's on this guy."

Smith, who pointed at himself, also said players do have to "run to the football better," but even that starts with what he does as the defensive coordinator.

"We didn't run to the football the way we are capable," he said. "We have to be better in our Smart Swarm. But we need one more guy to be close and that's schmatic. We got to have a half a guy closer. I don't think it's a (lack) of aggressive nature. We got that cleared up.

"We do need to be more physical and to disrupt the quarterback. We knew that coming in. But we can clean up some technique and get guys in a better position."

Smith said last week's preparation against Tech's spread offensive scheme will be helpful as the Hogs prepare for Texas Tech, another spread scheme with the same roots. Tech's Kliff Kingsbury worked for A&M's Kevin Sumlin.

"A&M is dynamic on the perimeter," he said. "They are big, strong guys. We will have to bring down bigger guys in space."

Smith was asked if part of the plan might be more press coverage.

"You have to pick your spots," he said. "We do have to do a better job of disrupting the wide receivers and that can depend if you are in man or zone. As tempo gets faster, you have to pick your spots to disrupt."

Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 26 of 30 passes with two interceptions.

"Only two incomplete passes?" Smith repeated the question. "I give them a lot of credit. He made two mistakes and we intercepted both. But we made it easy on them.

"Mahomes is a great player, but you can take away some options. You have to do a better job of disrupting than we did."

Smith was asked if Brooks Ellis would continue at middle linebacker, with Dre Greenlaw at weakside linebacker? That's the way the Hogs lined up last week with Josh Williams hurting with a shin bruise.

"Dre got off to a really good start," Smith said. "It was his first game (to start) and made a few mistakes. But he showed a lot of poise.

"It looks like this is the way we are headed (with Ellis and Greenlaw). We always evaluate, but yes."

Smith was asked if Kingsbury's comments after the game added any fuel to his tank this week before the A&M game.

"The only fuel I need for my fire is to watch th tape," Smith said. "He can say whatever. It's his perogative. My job is to make sure our team is ready to play and I've got work to do."


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