Smith Expecting Physical Test in Fayetteville

Auburn junior Rod Smith comments on Saturday's road trip to Arkansas and the Auburn offense.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn's top receiver who is ranked eighth in the SEC in receiving yards per game at 63.0, redshirt junior Rodgeriqus Smith is familiar with the Auburn-Arkansas series.

On Saturday evening in Fayetteville, where the Tigers will face Houston Nutt's Razorbacks, Smith is expecting an old-fashioned, hard-nosed Southeastern Conference showdown.

"Most definitely when we go into a game with Arkansas we have to prepare ourselves for a dogfight," Smith says. "We are going to expect them to hit us in the mouth and we have to hit them back in the mouth."

Smith has 23 catches for 378 yards and three touchdowns for the 4-2 Tigers, who are 2-1 in the SEC. He has been a significant part in the Auburn offense's rebound from a slow start this season.

"Right now we are in a rhythm on offense and everything is clicking," he says. "We are just taking it from week to week and game to game. Everything is going pretty good and we want to keep it rolling."

Smith says the lack of turnovers in Auburn's three-game winning streak is probably the main reason why the offense has had more success than it did in the losses to South Florida and Mississippi State. The Tigers had five turnovers in each of those contests.

"If we don't turn the ball over, I think we have a great chance of winning games," he says.

The man throwing Smith the football, senior quarterback Brandon Cox, has been hitting better than 70 percent of his passes during Auburn's three-game winning streak. Smith says he thinks he knows why the lefty is playing better than he did early in the season.

"I think the line is giving him a lot of time back there now," Smith points out. "He has a lot of patience now and is making the right reads and is not rushing anything. I think that has really helped him out a lot."

As the Tigers put the finishing touches on the game plan for Saturday's 6:45 p.m. contest that will be televised by ESPN from Razorback Stadium, Smith says the receiver corps knows it has to play tough this week.

"I just know they are a physical defense," says the Auburn receiver, who adds that he expects to see a lot of press, man-to-man coverage from the Arkansas defensive backs. "We are looking forward to the challenge as a receiver group."


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