Being physical up front is a theme of defensive practices as the Tigers try to improve their record to 3-0 in the SEC. Auburn assistant coach Terry Price says the defensive front needs to be ready for a team that loves to keep the football on the ground.
"They give you everything in the running game," Price says. "You are going to see power plays, lead plays, toss plays, outside running plays and three or four different types of option plays.
"They can test you up front," the defensive ends coach says. "We will have our hands full. We will prepare hard in practice and we hope it shows on Saturday."
The Razorbacks boast a stable of impressive running backs featuring the talented freshman duo of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones along with bullish veteran De'Arrius Howard and versatile Peyton Hillis. It is by far the most talented group the Tigers have faced this season.
"As well as they run the football, it is not hard to recruit running backs," Price says. "Arkansas has done a great job of that over the years. They have a great stable of them and they have been hard to stop. That is going to be our job up front--to be physical and get after them."
McFadden averages 9.1 yards per carry, Jones 7.8, Howard 5.9 and Hillis 5.1 yards per carry. As a team the Razorbacks are averaging an impressive 286.4 yards per game on the ground.
Quarterback Robert Johnson is also a running threat, too, but so far hasn't been as big a factor as Matt Jones, the former Arkansas QB who is now in the NFL.
"Jones was probably the scariest guy in the conference the last four years to get ready for.," Price notes. "Even though he is gone, the guy they have now is very athletic. He isn't as tall, but he is just as fast and just as elusive. He will be handful to get ready for, too."
Price is shown at practice with Stanley McClover (75).
With Stanley McClover close to full speed after suffering two injuries this season, the Tiger defensive ends should be in good shape, especially with an extra week of preparation for the game at Razorback Stadium.
"Finally, we have got the group together, as healthy as we have been," Price says. "Things should be close to 100 percent on Saturday."