Tiger Safety Thinking Run First Vs. Razorback

Comments from starting Auburn safety Will Herring are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Through five games this season, Arkansas has run the football 235 times and thrown 128 passes.

For Auburn junior Will Herring, that means to expect a physical football game on Saturday evening in Fayetteville with more action than normal for the safety when it comes to tackling running backs.

"We kind of have to shift our focus this week against Arkansas because they pound the ball so much," Herring says. "We definitely have to think run first.

"At the same time, they have got a couple of good guys at wideout," Herring notes. "Any team in the SEC has the speed to beat you deep, but we have definitely been emphasizing the run, particularly the option.

"They ran it last year with Matt Jones," Herring says of the former Arkansas star quarterback, who is now in the NFL playing receiver. "This quarterback is not as fast as him, but he can run it, too. We have to shut down the run and make them throw the ball. If we shut them down on the ground we will be all right."

Herring, who has started 29 consecutive games for the Tigers, leads the team in tackles this season with 29. He is four ahead of linebacker Antarrious Williams and five ahead of linebacker Travis Williams.

Will Herring (35) makes one of his tackles this season.

The Razorbacks will try to keep the Auburn safety guessing what play they are running. "They do a good job of that," Herring says. "They run the option from so many looks you really have to be on your P's and Q's.

"They go shotgun a lot," he adds. "Usually, when you see a quarterback in the shotgun with two backs next to him, you are thinking it is pass all the way, but for a team like this it is a run formation. We definitely have to change our gear in thinking and adjusting to them."

Auburn will bring a 4-1 mark into the contest and a 2-0 league mark as the Tigers take the road for the first time this season. "I am excited," he says. "I have always loved road games. I think the guys are excited. We were fortunate to have so many at home early in the season and let some of these younger guys mature and come on, but it is time to take it to another level.

"This is our third SEC game and Fayetteville is always a tough place to play," Herring adds. "We are going to bring our best shot and see what we have got."

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