Thursday Grid Update, 10/9

Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson is expecting a heavy dose of the run from Auburn on Saturday, but thinks his team has improved this week end in defending it.

To University of Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson, it doesn't matter whether Tony Franklin, Steve Ensminger, Tommy Tuberville or Arkansas native and current Auburn quarterback Kodi Burns are calling the plays on Auburn on Saturday.

Because even though Franklin was ousted, Emsinger elevated and Tuberville still the play-calling boss no matter who has the offensive coordinator title, it's going to be about the run.

"You have to look at your weaknesses first and our weakness is not being able to stop the run," Robinson said. "So you have got to figure whether Coach Franklin was there or not, the game plan would be to come in and run the football. We kind of took that approach anyway.

"It's unfortunate for the game that it happen, but even moreso now we are going to get the run," Robinson said.

To that end, Robinson is proud of the way his defense – which had three good quarters against Florida last week – improved during each practice this week.

"It was good, really good, really a good Thursday practice," Robinson said.

"We had a good week of practice and each day we got better with," Robinson said. "It's us. It's not Auburn's offensive line, it's not Auburn's quarterback – which if 18 (Burns) starts he adds another dimension kind of like what we have been facing the last two weeks with the Texas kid and the Florida kid.

…This guy (Burns) is a really good athlete back there and we will probably see a lot more play action than we anticipate besides the run game and the boot," Robinson added. "They'll move him out of the pocket and let him have the option to run or throw.

Arkansas' linebacking corp has been solidified with Wendel Davis – who had a team-high 11 points – taking over in the middle with Jerry Franklin moving outside to the weakside linebacker and Freddy Burton at the strongside linebacker.

Ramon Broadway will step in as a starter at cornerback for the injured Jamar Love.

"He's done some things, he's stepped it up," Broadway said. "It is a matter of being able to do it under fire now. He's had some opportunities during games. He's been a little inconsistent, but now he'll start.

"It's always hard to come into the game as opposed to starting the game," Robinson added. "The flow of it, getting the feel of the receiver. That is where you count on the guy that does start when you are sitting on the bench to communicate with each other a little bit."

Robinson believes his unit was more spirited this week after three quarters where they gave up one sustained drive for a score before allowing three long scoring plays in the final quarter.

"There is no doubt," Robinson said. "There are no moral victories. Obviously we have to learn how to finish. We started better, we were strong in the middle but didn't finish it. Obviously we kept it simple and they played faster and played harder and we got something out of it."


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