Despite not knowing which Mississippi State quarterback it will face on Saturday, Arkansas is preparing for anything the Bulldogs may throw at them, Bret Bielema said Thursday.
Mississippi State quarterbacks Dak Prescott and Tyler Russell remain questionable for this weekend's contest against the Razorbacks, and will likely be gametime decisions.
Prescott, the team's leading rusher, who has been dealing with a stinger to his non-throwing arm, presents possible issues for the Arkansas defense as a dual-threat quarterback, while Tyler Russell, healing from a right shoulder injury, is more of a traditional passer.
The Bulldog's third option, neither Prescott nor Russell can go, is freshman Damian Williams. Williams has 152 passing yards on 23 pass attempts this season.
"We know who's got what strengths," Bielema said of preparing for all three quarterbacks. "It's not so much different calls, but awareness of what might particularly happen."
Bulldog receiver Jameon Lewis, who leads the team in all three major receiving categories, is also a passing threat. Lewis is 3-for-3 this season passing, mainly on gadget plays, for 84 yards and three touchdowns.
"Two of them were pretty good deception plays," Bielema said of Lewis' touchdown passes. "But the big part is with those plays is ... to take advantage of a kid who's got a great arm."
For Arkansas this weekend, Bielema said cornerback Will Hines, who has been recovering from a broken arm suffered in the Florida game, will play, but will not start. Hines will be "somewhat of a gametime decision" on how much he will be involved.
And at the cornerback position, which has been a weak spot for the Arkansas defense, Jared Collins, and either Tevin Mitchel or DJ Dean will get the start Saturday, Bielema said. He also noted an extra emphasis has been placed on tackling in the bye week practices.
With the team making its final appearance in front of a home crowd this weekend in Little Rock, Bielema also said the team is looking forward to the Little Rock crowd, and hopes to send the senior class out on a positive note.
"I'm excited to see the crowd [in Little Rock]," Bielema said. "I'm excited to play in Little Rock, and have the opportunity to get some magic back on our sideline."
"We'd really like to send [the seniors] off the right way ... they've had a lot of haymakers thrown their way."