Gilbow Preparing For No. 4 Auburn

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas offensive tackle Matt Gilbow still doesn't know if he's going to earn his first career start Saturday afternoon when the Razorbacks play at No. 4 Auburn.

But the redshirt freshman is doing everything he can to prepare for it.

"I watched film for four hours this weekend and some of the assistant coaches quizzed me," Gilbow said. "They'd draw up formations on the board and they asked me what I needed to do on those plays.

"I played in some games, but I haven't started and I haven't played in an environment like Auburn. I went down to Florida (during Arkansas' 45-30 loss on Oct. 2) but I didn't get in the game. So it should be interesting."

While most teammates went home for the off weekend, Gilbow stayed in Fayetteville to continue a cram session for his new role with the Hogs (3-2, 1-1 in Southeastern Conference). Gilbow is one of two players -- joining classmate Nate Garner -- Arkansas has studied the past week since losing right tackle Zac Tubbs for the season with a broken ankle.

Gilbow has worked with the first-team offense every day, but coach Houston Nutt and position coach Mike Markuson won't announce a starter until later this week. Markuson said Gilbow and Garner have been practicing well and both must be prepared to play against the Tigers (6-0, 3-0).

"We'll see how one of them does starting the game off and see how it goes," Markuson said. "They're both capable and we have confidence in both those guys. We're just working them both and getting them ready.

"What we do is not mentally that difficult. It's just now being physically able to go out and handle it against some good people. We're going to find out."

Gilbow said the hardest adjustment has been moving to the right side, which means breaking the instincts he formed as a left tackle. Gilbow was used to putting his left hand on the ground and dropping his left foot back during pass sets.

He said several days of practice has helped the awkwardness wear off and the next step will be getting on the field against the Tigers. Auburn's defense is ranked fourth in the nation in scoring defense (7.2 points a game) and is seventh in total defense (250.3 yards).

Quarterback Matt Jones said it won't be an easy first start for either Gilbow or Garner. But the senior hopes it won't take long for the offense to adjust.

"Any time you lose somebody like Tubbs, who had the most experience, it's going to make you change a little bit of your stuff," Jones said. "The thing that you're going to miss is the experience and leadership that Tubbs had on the offensive line.

"But I think Gilbow will be all right."

Rocker To Be Honored
Arkansas defensive line coach Tracy Rocker will be recognized during a pregame ceremony at his alma mater before Saturday's game.

Rocker was a two-time All-American during his Auburn career (1985-88) and was named to the Tigers' All-Century Team in 1992. He recorded 354 tackles, 21 sacks and 48 tackles for losses. As a senior, Rocker won the Outland Trophy, Lombardi Award and was named the Southeastern Conference Players of the Year.

Rocker will be honored in Jordan-Hare Stadium for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame last December. Rocker, who became the 10th Tiger enshrined in the Hall of Fame, said he didn't agree to take part in the pregame ceremony until speaking to Nutt.

"I'm thrilled," Rocker said. "It's a great honor, but the attention, I didn't want it because the University of Arkansas is playing that day. That to me is more important. But after talking to coach Nutt about it, he's like, 'You don't get many chances.'

"He told me to take advantage of the situation and everything is going to be fine."

Not Penalized
Arkansas has made plenty of youthful mistakes during its first five game, but the Hogs have avoided penalty-plagued outings. In fact, it is the least-penalized team in the SEC, averaging 41.2 penalty yards a game.

The Razorbacks were whistled for 22 penalties for 176 yards in their first three games. Arkansas had one penalty for five yards against Alabama and four for 25 against the Gators.

But Nutt said that doesn't necessarily translate to more wins.

In fact, Auburn sits atop the SEC Western Division standings and is the most penalized team in the conference. The SEC's last undefeated team has been penalized 40 times for 370 yards, which is an average of 61.7 yards a game.

"They're doing fine," Nutt said. "They're 6-0. I'm happy, we've got some young guys that are listening and trying to do right and play by the rules. That's important. But the other important part is not turning the ball over, getting takeaways, those things are going to help win the ball game.

"Those things are probably a little more important."

TV Time
Arkansas still is awaiting a time for its Oct. 23 homecoming game against No. 12 Georgia.

CBS exercised its six-day option Monday and will have until Sunday to choose between Arkansas-Georgia and Tennessee-Alabama for a national broadcast that'll kick off at 2:30 p.m. The game not chosen by CBS will be televised by either ESPN2 (6 p.m.) or ESPN (6:45).

Arkansas plays its third consecutive game on CBS at Auburn this weekend, which is a school record. The Razorbacks season-ending game against LSU on Nov. 26 in War Memorial Stadium also will be televised by CBS with kickoff slated for 1:30 p.m.

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