The Arkansas defense continues to get thinner. After losing senior linebacker Alonzo Highsmith to season-ending foot surgery Monday, the Hogs lose their other senior captain linebacker/ defensive end Tenarius Wright to a shoulder injury. This means senior Terrell Williams will lead the linebacker core. Williams is fourth on the team in total tackles. The Hogs will also rely on freshmen AJ Turner and Otha Peters who have combined for 14 tackles this season.
After being arrested for failing to appear in court for a speeding violation, defensive end Chris Flowers is practicing and will play Saturday against Kentucky.
Good news in the secondary; Tevin Mitchel will play Saturday.
The defense talked to the media Wednesday night about all the injuries, the new guys stepping up, and stopping the Kentucky offense.
Defensive Coordinator Paul Haynes:
- AJ Turner has been getting a lot of reps at lineback and Haynes says he is doing well at the position.
- The injuries have been challenging but there is no excuse. New or old guys, they all know how to play football and will be expected to produce.
- Tevin Mitchel will play, not sure on who will start but they will rotate a lot.
- Chris Smith has talked to coach and they have decided he will play this Saturday but expect disciplinary actions to be taken.
- Kentucky has a very athletic offense including hard-running running backs and a young quarterback who can create with his feet.
- Even with the win last weekend and spirits a little high, Haynes does not want to focus on last week. He wants to build on it but they must focus on Kentucky now and nothing else.
Defensive End Trey Flowers:
- They will throw a lot of stuff at the quarterback, same plan as always, they know he is agile so they need to pressure him.
- With the injuries on defense there will be plenty of young guys and it’s up to the older guys to help them out to succeed.
Linebacker Terrell Williams:
- They are excited to be blitzing more and Williams believes that the Hogs defensive linemen are among the best in the SEC.
Defensive Tackle Alfred Davis:
- Just like previous ones they’ve faced, Kentuckys QB is athletic and has a quick release but its going to be their job to contain him.