Last season’s game between Arkansas and Rutgers featured more than 800 yards passing. This year’s contest will look completely different. Along with both teams averaging more than 200 yards on the ground per game, three of the nation’s top seven rushers will be playing.
“Those guys have done a great job for us, just like they have on their team at Rutgers,” said Offensive Guard Brey Cook. “It’s going to be really fun to go out there and see them compete against each other.”
“Both of us are run dominate teams,” said Running Back Jonathan Williams. “We play physical and play the same type of football, so we are going to see who comes out victorious.”
There is a chance we could see even more out of the running game this week since both teams may be without their starting quarterbacks. But whatever the game plan is, the players are focused on executing at a high level.
“They are a great team,” said Cook. “They have done great things and so have we. We are excited to go out and compete against them whether it be through the air or on the ground.”
“Whatever the game plan is for this week that’s what we are going to do,” said Running Back Alex Collins. “If it’s the passing game we are going with this week or it’s the running game we will just try and perfect whatever plays are thrown at us.”
The offensive play calling was conservative last week when A.J. Derby stepped in for Brandon Allen. The coaching staff feels comfortable opening things up at Rutgers if they turn to Derby again.
“A.J. Derby is similar to Brandon Allen and the coaches feel comfortable with him throwing the ball and taking control of the whole offense,” said Williams.
“We will be doing exactly what we feel like we need to do to win the football game,” said Offensive Coordinator Jim Chaney. “If that takes us having to open it up, I have no issues doing so.”
If Derby does get the start this weekend, the offensive line is going to have to do a better job supporting him.
“Who ever is out there we are going to go out there and block,” said Cook. “We are going to block for him because he’s our quarterback. Regardless of who it is he is out there leading our team, so we have to go out there and protect him.”