Wilson Hearts Arkansas

Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson has a good reason to look forward to Saturday's game at Arkansas. The senior has turned in two of his best performances against the Razorbacks.

In two games, Wilson has completed 40 of 65 passes for 570 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. His pass efficiency rating is 165.58.

"I don't think it's like baseball, where the guy's 4-for-6 against a pitcher and he's gonna do good," Wilson said. "It's not like that. It's a week-by-week thing."

Wilson's first road start came against the Razorbacks in 2006. He completed 16-of-20 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns in Alabama's 24-23 loss.

He was 24-for-45 for 327 yards with four touchdowns in the 41-38 win in 2007. That included a game-winning drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Matt Caddell with eight seconds remaining.

Wilson said Alabama had success because of Arkansas' defensive scheme under former coordinator Reggie Herring. He's expecting a change now that the Razorbacks defense is led by Willy Robinson.

"We get fired up about every team, but Arkansas ran that man coverage that they did," Wilson said. "But they've got a new coordinator now so they're doing some different things. ... changing it up."

Robinson said Arkansas will be wary of Wilson, though. He said the Razorbacks' goal is to make sure the senior quarterback doesn't get comfortable.

"If he gets a hot hand and we allow him to keep that hot hand, he'll kill us," he said. "If we can get pressure, he's a completely different quarterback. But if he gets comfortable with a hot hand he can pick you apart."



Just For Kicks

Alex Tejada is expected to hold onto place-kicking duties over walk-on Shay Haddock.

Coach Bobby Petrino didn't name Tejada the starter Thursday, but said the sophomore had another solid week after his poor outing against Louisiana-Monroe.

"We're going to really take a good look at all the video (Friday) morning and then make a decision on who we're coming out with," Petrino said. "I'd imagine it would be Tejada. I was happy with the way he kicked the ball (Thursday), happy with the way he kicked it (Wednesday) night."

Petrino said the Razorbacks practiced in the stadium for two days largely because of the kicking game. He wanted Tejada to get some work on the game field in preparation for Saturday's game against Alabama.



Good Morning

How does Arkansas defensive tackle Ernest Mitchell prepare for an early game like this weekend's 11:30 a.m. kickoff against Alabama?

"Different strokes for different folks. But most of us take cold showers so we can get up," Mitchell said after Wednesday's practice. "That's about it. It's just the regular pregame routine, but just make sure you throw ice on everybody. Got to get it cool."

Mitchell likes early games because there's a chance of catching the opponent napping. Petrino likes them, too. It keeps the team from waiting all day for kickoff.

"I don't know if the fans like it as much. They like to be able to spend the day barbecuing and drinking water," Petrino said, drawing a round of laughter.



They're Coming

Petrino was asked once again about the Razorbacks' turnover drought after two games. His response?

"They're coming," Petrino said. "I know they're coming. We're going to get turnovers. We've got to. The odds are in our favor. Hopefully it's better than when I'm putting. I always think it's got to go in one of these times and it doesn't. But turnovers are coming.

"Like I said before, when they come they come in bunches so I feel good about it."



Petrino vs. SEC

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino will put his perfect record against SEC opponents on the line when the Razorbacks play the Crimson Tide.

Petrino compiled his 4-0 mark by beating Kentucky each year he was at Louisville (2003-06). This will be his first game as a head coach against any other SEC school, but Petrino believes Arkansas is ready.

"I think our guys will be fired up," he said. "First SEC game, top 10 opponent. So it doesn't take a whole lot to get fired up for that one."



Third Down Success

Alabama and Arkansas are the most productive SEC teams on third down. The Crimson Tide lead the league in third-down conversions (54.8 percent), while Arkansas is second (54.2 percent).

"I just think it's just an overall understanding of what we're trying to do, especially with John Parker," center Antoine Caldwell said of Alabama's success.

Arkansas' defense hasn't been as good, though. The Hogs are last in the SEC on third down defense (40.6 percent). The Crimson Tide is sixth (26.8 percent).

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