Arkansas Razorbacks Practice Report – Samford Review; Southern Miss Prep

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

I was let into the offensive players and coaches post-practice press conference and caught up with a few of the keys guys on that side of the ball.

Tuesday is always known as the grind day during game week, when the team puts behind what happened last Saturday and begins truly focusing on the next opponent.

Early, a lot of the questions were directed towards the successes from the Samford game, especially Alex Collins' record setting performance. Despite having accomplished what no other freshman back in school history had, Collins knows he must remain level-headed, and that there is still a lot of football to be played.

"I've got to stay humble about it. I appreciate everything my team has done to help me get that (SEC Freshman of the Week award), but we've got to move on to the next team," Collins said.

One of the bright spots leaving Little Rock on Saturday night, other than the Razorbacks rushing for 333 yards, was the career-long field goal by senior kicker Zach Hocker, a 53-yarder.

"I didn't even know the distance on the field," Hocker said. "The adrenaline was flowing and I was confident throughout pre-game. It was one of those kicks as soon as it came off the foot I knew it was a good hit."

Hocker is also on the receiving end of some jokes between teammates about being the team's top rated player on NCAA Football 14, "Will [Hines], man. Will is a character. It is fun to heckle at the guys about it," Hocker said. And, he humbly noted, his rating is a huge misprint by the makers of the game. .

Hocker also noted he has no idea if he has NFL scouts watching him this year, and understand the realities of possibly not having a career in the pros (C'mon, Zach. Really?)

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This week, Arkansas welcomes in Southern Miss, losers of 14 straight contests. The Golden Eagles currently hold the longest losing skid in college football, and the primary focus of the offense seems to be heavily on preparing for the Golden Eagle defense and their young secondary.

"I see a defense that likes to bring a little bit of pressure," offensive coordinator John Chaney said. "They have two dominant defensive tackles that we have to be aware of at all times."

Several of the players, and wide receivers coach Michael Smith also spoke about the type of defense Southern Miss plays, which is admittedly unfamiliar to the team, and will present a new challenge.

The defense is called "2 trap," Javontee Herndon said. The defense is designed for the cornerbacks to pinch in towards the middle of the field to take away the outside run, something Arkansas has had much success with so far.

"We've just got to practice routes that will take them out of those coverages," Herndon said. "They have a lot of sophomores and freshmen [in the So Miss. secondary]. We'll run a lot of plays that will take them out of those coverages."

With a new challenge presented by the Golden Eagle defense, the players and coaching staff seems relatively confident in the gameplan thus far.

"We did some new stuff, and struggled with some of it," Chaney said. "I thought the attitude was there and the effort level was fine."

As the team is transitioning into Southern Miss prep, the mood of the offense and the team seems upbeat. Players noted they are anxious to get back on the field Saturday and improve from the 31-21 win over Samford.

Arkansas hosts Southern Miss at 11:21 am on Saturday and looks to move to 3-0 with another strong performance in the run game.

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