FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas junior safety De’Andre Coley couldn’t catch a break during the week leading up to the Hogs’ Oct. 22 loss at Auburn.
He was already going to have to miss the first half of that game because of a targeting ejection — his second of the season — then stepped in a pothole while talking to his mom on the phone and walking to the football facility a couple days before the Auburn game.
“It was probably a great indicator it just wasn’t our week,” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said of Coley’s injury.
Coley made the trip to Auburn but couldn’t be on the field for the first half. He intended to play in the second half but didn’t make an appearance because of the ankle.
Coley — who is from Miami — spent the bye week recovering and will be available Saturday when Arkansas returns to action Saturday against No. 11 Florida. He has appeared in seven games with three starts this season and spoke to reporters after Tuesday’s practice.
Q: What happened when you sprained your ankle?
A: I was just walking down the hill and wasn’t paying attention on the phone and just stepped right in a pothole.
Q: After you had the targeting penalty and the ankle sprain, did you think you might be snakebitten?
A: Oh man. I felt kinda bad, you know. Against Auburn, I was ready to go also. My adrenaline was rushing so I wasn’t rubbing my ankle.
Q: How tough have targeting calls been?
A: It’s been kinda tough. I go back and watch the film, I’m kinda mad at myself and mad at the call, but I’ve just gotta be a smart football player. Coach B is telling me after each one that I have to be a smart football player and keep my head low.
Q: Can it be hard to change those habits?
A: It’s kinda tough when you think about it. I love playing aggressive. Instead of keeping my head high I just have to aim lower.
Q: Was it tough to watch the Auburn game knowing you couldn’t do anything about it?
A: It was tough. I was suspended for the first half so when I was in there watching the game, I was just ready for the second half to come out. But it didn’t turn out well. But I’m just focused on this week.
Q: So you were prepared to play after halftime?
A: I was prepared. I was ready to go. I was excited for the whole game.
Q: As a Florida guy, is it exciting to get to play against the Gators?
A: It feels great playing against some of my old friends and teammates. It’s gonna be a good game. I feel like it’s a high school game.