Tigers Working On Razorbacks

Auburn's defense is already busy working on trying to slow down the Arkansas running game.

Auburn, Ala.-–With the Arkansas game still over a week away and two off days looming in front of them, the Auburn Tigers are busy working on fundamentals in practice as well as getting a head start on the Razorbacks. Defensively that means working on stopping a power running game, something that Arkansas does as well as anyone in the country.

"For the players you want to work on the fundamentals, all the things that you haven't been sharp on for the first five weeks of the season," Gibbs said. "As a coaching staff we'll definitely have the gameplan in and start to show them Arkansas' plays. As good as Arkansas runs the football we've got to start working on that right now because they are a tremendous running football team.

"They ran for 197 yards against USC and 237 yards against Alabama against one of the best defenses in the country. We've got our work cut out for us and we know that and our players know it. We've definitely got to start working on it."

Peyton Hillis is one of the players the Tigers will have to deal with both running the football and catching passes out of the backfield.

While most will look to an embarrassing thrashing at the hands of number one USC earlier this season as proof that Arkansas isn't a good football team or even a loss to Vanderbilt at home, Gibbs prefers to look at what the Hogs did on a trip to Tuscaloosa as proof this team can get the job done.

Against a defense that stifled the Florida Gators last weekend, allowing just 139 yards rushing and 326 total yards, the Razorbacks nearly ran to a victory. Led by freshman Darren McFadden, the Hogs rushed for 237 yards on 40 carries and had a chance late in the game until mistakes did them in. Gibbs said that when he watches Arkansas on tape it's easy to see why they are so successful running the football year in and year out.

"I think they are extremely well-coached," Gibbs said. "They've got big, huge offensive linemen that are tough and physical. They have great running backs every year. I think the kid's name is McFadden. He's not even starting for them and he's unbelievable. I saw him go 70 yards against Alabama and Alabama looked like they couldn't catch him. They've got great players and they're well coached.

"Through all the years he has been there they have run the ball extremely well. It's just one of those things he does. He mixes in option and he mixes in mis-direction. I think it's physical and a mindset of theirs. They believe they are physically tougher and mentally tougher than you are and they try to take it to you. That's the challenge for us."

Records can sometimes be deceiving and that's exactly the feeling Gibbs has about the Razorbacks. With a win over Louisiana-Monroe Saturday Arkansas would move to 2-3 overall, but still at the bottom of the SEC standings at 0-2. While on paper it may look like a mis-match to some, Gibbs said that if people really believe that all they need to do is study and they'll see a very talented team looking to have a break out game.

"Make no mistake about it, this is without a doubt the most talented and physical offensive team we've seen this year," Gibbs said. "It's not even close. I don't care what their record is and how bad USC beat them. Watch the film."

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