AUBURN, Ala. — Kevin Steele’s defense was dominant in Auburn’s last outing in Starkville, Mississippi, and after an off weekend it’s time to get back to work.
No. 21 Auburn jumps into SEC play again on Saturday, taking on the visiting No. 17 Arkansas Razorbacks in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Arkansas has won two of their last three games — the loss came against No. 1 Alabama — most recently earning an emotional 34-30 win over Ole Miss. The Tigers will have their hands full. Quarterback Austin Allen and the Razorbacks have continued to improve offensively and it’s the first game in over a year where a ranked Auburn team is facing off against a ranked opponent.
Here’s what Kevin Steele said at his weekly press conference:
- Steele opens by saying the bye week was ‘much needed,’ giving several players the chance to heal up.
- “Last Tuesday and Wednesday was against no opponent, just getting better at technique and fundamentals.”
- Focuses of the bye week included third downs and incorporating young players.
- On Arkanas offensive line: “They have a huge offensive line… I will say this year there is some tape out there where there is some flair and some things that aren’t typical Arkansas.”
- “This is a different group and we feature a couple of different wrinkles we didn’t feature in past years.”
- On the Razorbacks’ tight ends: “I think you got the same thing out of LSU, big people, big personnel.”
- On Deshaun Davis: “He’s been fine…he’s a tough guy.”
- On the challenge of Arkansas running back Rawleigh Williams: “I think that’s pretty obvious. He leads the league in rushing.”
- “Their quarterback is pretty accurate and he’s a tough guy. He gets hit a lot and he stand in there and is pretty accurate.”
- On Arkansas’ time of possession: “We don’t worry about what they do, we worry about what we do. What we do is keep the top on the coverage and get off the field.”
- “You cannot give up big runs, you cannot give up big passes and you’ve got to get off the field on third downs.”
- “We’ve got a group of guys where we told them if you play with all you’ve got and with a good motor, we’ll find a place for you.”
- On the importance of the bye week to the freshmen: “I think it was important for all of us to catch our breath. There’s a lot of hours spent in this building by players and coaches.”