UA Defense's Task: Contain QB Newton

FAYETTEVILLE — Wednesdays are Arkansas defensive coordinator Reggie Herring's days to meet the media, and he seldom disappoints with his quotes.

"All right, gang, no secrets this week," Herring said by way of greeting on Wednesday.

What he meant was, South Carolina quarterback Syvelle Newton had 330 yards of total offense against Tennessee last week, and he clearly is the focus of every Gamecocks opposing defense.

"Newton is one of the better athletes I've seen in the two years I've been here," Herring said. "To be honest, he looks like a gazelle wideout. He's deceptively fast, and deadly when he gets on the move."

Which is often.

"He has a tendency to stare down his receiver and if that guy ain't open, he's gone," Herring said. "That's not good for us."

At least this is the third straight in which Arkansas has faced a mobile quarterback. Ole Miss had Brent Schaeffer, and Louisiana-Monroe featured Kinsmon Lancaster. But Newton has a better supporting cast.

"They have a great player in Sidney Rice (6-4, 200-pound sophomore) at receiver," Herring said. And their running back, No. 3 (6-1, 208-pound junior tailback Cory Boyd of Orange, N.J.) is very flashy.

"They're very well coached offensively. I have great respect for Steve Spurrier."

So what's the key to containing Newton?

"There is no key in containing," Herring said. "It's ‘Are your young guys good enough to get him down?' It takes great athletes to tackle him. You can have five guys there, but they might not contain him. It's pesky. It creates anxiety."

Herring said Hogs linebacker Sam Olajubutu would play Saturday, but would probably be limited by his stretched (left) knee ligaments.

"Sam is moving extremely well, considering where he's come from," Herring said. "He's by no means full speed, but his heart will be there. Oh, he'll start, but I don't know how his endurance will be, how long he can play."

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