No Changes Because of Franklin Firing

Even before Auburn abruptly fired offensive coordinator Tony Franklin on Wednesday, Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson had an idea of what to expect this weekend.

He figured the No. 20 Tigers would run the football ball plenty and not throw it nearly as much.

"You have to look at your weaknesses first and our weakness is us not being able to stop the run," Robinson said Thursday as the Razorbacks wrapped up their preparations for Saturday's game at Auburn.

"So you've got to figure, whether coach Franklin was there or not, their game plan would have been to come in and run the football. So we kind of took that approach anyway."

Robinson said the Razorbacks have spent the past few days in practice working on defending the run and anticipating Fort Smith native Kodi Burns to bring another running threat at quarterback.

"If (Burns) does start, he adds another dimension, kind of like we've been facing the last two weeks with (Texas quarterback Colt McCoy) and (Florida's Tim Tebow)," Robinson said. "This guy's a really good athlete back there."

While Auburn ranks 103rd in the nation in passing (160.7 yards per game) and 104th in total offense (309.17 ypg.), the Tigers are averaging 148.5 ypg rushing.

Robinson said he doesn't anticipate Auburn going away from the run because of Franklin's firing. In fact, he believes the coaching change will cause the Tigers to rely more on its running game.

"It's unfortunate for the game, but it happened," Robinson said of Franklin's firing. "And even more so now it's going to happen. We're going to get the run."



Shuffling Linebackers

Arkansas opened last Saturday's loss to No. 11 Florida with only two linebackers in the starting lineup. Turns out, Robinson had more plans to shuffle up the rotation.

He said Thursday that redshirt freshman Jerry Franklin, who had started the first five games of the season at middle linebacker, has been moved to the weakside linebacker position.

Junior Wendel Davis will replace Franklin in the middle. After missing the first two games of the season and playing sparingly against Texas, Davis has recorded 19 tackles in the past two games.

Meanwhile, sophomore Freddy Burton will start at strongside linebacker. It marks the first time this season that the Razorbacks will go with all three linebackers in the starting lineup together.



Free Pay-Per-View

Cox Communications announced Thursday that those fans who paid to watch Arkansas' win over Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 6 will get Saturday's game at Auburn free of charge.

Because of technical difficulties and satellite problems, the ULM game was sporadically blacked out in parts of the state, including Northwest Arkansas.

To make up to those customers, Cox Communications is offering the Auburn game free on pay-per-view. Subscribers should tune to Cox Channel 606 at 4 p.m. Saturday to order the game for free.

For any viewer who didn't order the ULM game but still wants to watch Arkansas face Auburn, Saturday's game is available for $34.99.

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