FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas’ defense is struggling. Everyone knows it.
The Razorbacks are among the worst defensive units in the nation after five games and are coming off last Saturday’s 58-10 loss to Texas A&M, where the Hogs surrendered 716 yards.
Defensive end Chris Smith insists the Razorbacks aren’t hanging their heads as they prepare for Saturday’s game against Auburn. The Tigers are last in the SEC in total offense and scoring offense, giving Arkansas some hope it can put together a game-winning performance when the team hits the road for the second straight week.
Smith spoke about Arkansas’ defensive struggles and how the Razorbacks are handling them after Wednesday’s practice. Here is this week’s Q&A:
Q: What has the attitude been like in practice?
A: “It’s been good. It was a tough week last week, but the attitude is just moving forward. Attitude has been good defensively. We’ve been coming out strong. Guys like Robert Thomas, Byran Jones and D.D. Jones, they’re fired up and ready to go. We’re just trying to push each other along and I like the spirit this week. Everybody is ready to go and fight for a win.”
Q: What do to try to get better?
A: “We have more individual time, working on technique and steps and things like that. Just the little things. Executing plays. We’re going over our plays a lot more so it will be like second nature to us in the game. That’s what we’re doing.”
Q: You’re near the bottom of nation defensively. Is it hard to deal with that?
A: “It is hard. But the main thing is just looking forward and making things better. That’s what we’re going to try to do. That’s the great thing about sports. You get another week to play. We’re just going to try to do that and move forward and just get better each and every week and every day.”
Q: What is preventing you from forcing turnovers?
A: “We’re getting turnovers in practice. What you do in practice is what you’re going to do in the game. That’s one thing I saw this week. Yesterday, I was running to the ball and one of the DBs, I think it was (Davyon) McKinney, knocked the ball out and I picked it off. So we’re starting to get turnovers in practice and that should roll over to the game. That’s one thing we didn’t have before. We didn’t make turnovers in practice. So this week has been a lot of forced turnovers in practice. People would be surprised. You’ll see them come up in the game when they come up in practice.”
Q: Is it hart to try to put everything behind you each week with the losses mounting?
A: “I mean, yeah, it’s hard. We’ve been through a lot of adversity. But you just can’t think about that. I know I sound like a broken record, but you’ve just got to move on. Just get to another week. The greatest thing about sports, you get another chance to play. We’re just going to try to change this around, turn it around, and everything like that and it has to start with Auburn.”