Struggling Foes Meet Saturday

Auburn head coach Gene Chizik says Arkansas is a dangerous foe on Wednesday's SEC Teleconference, but Razorback head coach John L. Smith knows that dangerous part so far has been his team shooting itself in the foot.

For the second straight week on the SEC Teleconference, an opposing SEC head football coach labeled the Arkansas football team as a dangerous one.

This week it was Auburn head coach Gene Chizik.

Razorback coach John L. Smith just hopes this is the week that his team causes damage to the opponent instead of to itself as it has the current four-game losing streak.

"Everybody gets down with a loss," Smith said. "That's part of life. But doggone it, our football team went to the field yesterday and came out with high energy. It was as good a Tuesday practice as we have had. Fighting through it, playing good enough to win is what we have to do.

"…I don't think our attitude is bad," Smith added. "These guys have held together, support one another and believe in what is going on and it is just a matter of us going to the field and making sure it happens on the weekend. Take what we have in practice to the game. We have to learn how to do that."

Arkansas (1-4, 0-2) will visit Auburn (1-3, 0-2) on Saturday at 11 a.m. with each team trying to get its first league win of the season.

"This week we have a tremendous challenge in front of us," Smith said. "Auburn is a very, very, very athletic football team. And as everyone knows it is extremely hard to win on the road in this league. But our goal is to go on the road and get a win." Arkansas will be seeing a familiar face at quarterback on Saturday in former Shiloh Christian star Kiehl Frazier.

He – and the entire Auburn offense- has struggled this season with just two touchdown passes against seven interceptions.

Freshman Jonathan Wallace was given some snaps out of the Wildcat in Auburn's game two weeks ago as he rushed three times for 15 yards.

"They have had an extra week of work so we have to prepare for that (the Wildcat)," Smith said…"But I expect them to not go away from what they have shown. They've shown that, but are they going to expand that? I don't see that being a great, great expansion. I would think they would be lining up with Frazier in there and doing the things that that they have done."

Both of those signal callers are mobile quarterbacks just like Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Louisiana-Monroe's Kolton Browning, who torched the Arkansas defense with both their arm and legs.

"I don't know that anyone compares to Manziel," Smith said. "Browning was awful special as well plus throwing with the wrong arm makes him special. He can move. He was basically kind of their option guy and all that and we remember how he ran the ball in high school."

Smith thinks Frazier was thrown into the mix too early, but is playing better now.

"He is like all of the younger guys in the league that if you play too darn early, it's maybe not a good thing," Smith added. "But as you continue to play, the great thing about being young and playing early is that you get better all the time. I think that is what he has done."

Auburn will be without receiver Quan Bray, who was suspended after being arrested on the West Georgia campus in Carrolton, Ga., last Thursday for three misdemeanor charges as part of a traffic stop for playing his music too loud.

"The reality is that Quan for the last year and a half has had a lot of challenges," Chizik told Auburn's FOX Sportssaid of the player whose mother suffered a violent death. "He has been a great teammate, he has been an honor roll student.

"I am proud of the way in last year and a half he has carried himself and overcome a lot of adversity," the coach added. "Unfortunately, he made a bad decision this weekend and what comes with that is consequences so he won't be playing in the game this week, and I will let you know when he is going to be back out on the field. It certainly won't be against Arkansas."

While the Auburn defense is giving up 419 yards total offense per game and is dead last in the league in run defense, Smith sees them as a very good defense.

"Stats are stats, but you just watch the video and this is a good defensive unit," Smith said. "I like the front, they are all physical and they can run around, and those ends are as good as there is in the league. I see them as being a very good defense and we are going to have to play great on the offensive side of the ball and the defensive side of the ball."

Smith especially likes All-SEC defensive end Corey Lemonier.

"That is as good a football player as there is in the league," Smith said. "You have to got to get him blocked more so than anything…They have a great defense. They can flat fly and run around."

The injury updates on tight end Chris Gragg, cornerbacks Tevin Mitchell and Kaelon Kellybrew, safeties Eric Bennett and Rohan Gaines and tailback Dennis Johnson were mixed

. "These guys have not been cleared yet – Gragg is in that boat, Mitchel is in that boat, Kellybrew is in that boat," Smith said. "Bennett is cleared, D.J. is cleared and Gaines is cleared."

Smith did laud Johnson – who played with a broken hand last week – for his leadership.

"I have to give Dennis kudos because the last couple of weeks he has been so positive and upbeat and encouraging and and trying to be a leader," Smith said. "One the sideline, his whole demeanor has changed compared to what it was earlier. We talked about that and Dennis took it to heart and it is a pat on the back for him to take it to heart and tried to be better. That's what he has done."

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories