The Arkansas defense has been night and day the last two weeks compared to the first five games of the year. The Hogs have forced five turnovers (three more than the first five games combined), given up 150 passing yards less than their average, and given up half as many total yards.
Though the offensive competition they played the last two weeks was inferior to other teams, one major reason for the success was the pressure the defensive front got on the quarterback.
Expect the Arkansas defense to make it a priority getting to the quarterback quickly for the rest of the year. It will be an emphasis this week during the bye.
The defense met with the media Wednesday after practice to discuss that.
Defensive Coordinator Paul Haynes:
- With Tevin Mitchel back it makes the younger guys in practice go harder to match him. Competition is better and makes the team better.
- During this bye week the team is really focusing on the little things. A reason to their success lately is the improved tackling and less big plays allowed.
- Haynes has been keeping plays and things on the field simple so the players can know what to do and just play. He believes that is factor in their recent success
- Ole Miss QB is faster than he looks and will look to run now and then. Haynes is stressing for the defense to be focused as possible because the speed they will see next weekend will be faster anything they have seen so far.
Defensive Tackle Alfred Davis:
- During this week they have really been working on fundamentals to keep the momentum going. They have had good practices and look to build on that.
- Davis believes the team has improved in all aspects and it has shown in the past two games. He doesn't believe it’s a fluke from playing bad teams.
- The coverage from the secondary has allowed the D Line to pressure more and that pressure leads to turnovers but Davis knows that a good defensive play isn't about one player, it takes the whole defense.