“I love the team. I love their effort. They don’t talk about injuries or absences, these guys just stay ready to play. I’m happy with where our program is headed,” said Razorback head coach Sam Pittman.
Like Pittman said postgame versus Mississippi State every player is valuable and is needed to win games and they are still doing that as we head to week four.
The Razorbacks have got a team loaded of younger playmakers, former walk-on’s and true freshmen having to play extra but valuable snaps as the Razorbacks go through the season.
“We are having to go 4-deep in practice because of various reasons,” said Pittman.
The experience these Razorbacks are receiving is going to be extremely valuable for the years to come. They are obviously well coached and playing a scheme that doesn’t ask them to do more than they can do.
My boss always said never ask your employees to do something that you don’t feel comfortable doing yourself. That has been the case so far. There hasn’t been much man to man due to injuries. They’re playing more zone than man and that is to limit the mistakes that could be made by inexperienced defensive backs.
Hudson Clark is one of those unheralded defensive backs. How about him though? What a way to announce his arrival to high level SEC football than taking care of one of the conferences “best receiver” Seth Williams. He has played admirably with 9 total tackles, one pass deflection and a couple of pass breakups in the endzone to keep the lead or in the game late. Bravo to Mr. Clark who has been great in relief of the injured Montaric Buster Brown.
The other unheralded defensive back thrown to the fire versus Auburn was true freshman Khari Johnson. He recorded 4 tackles and one pass breakup on Saturday. Johnson was brought in early in the first half after Jerry Jacobs had an apparent lower leg injury that didn’t allow him to return the rest of the game.
“Clark and Johnson, by the way they act, play and practice, they’ve made the coaches believe in them. Johnson was playing corner at safety depth, he figured out the speed of his receiver and he played a really fine football game.”
Arkansas is really fortunate to have found quality depth at the position. Injuries to Brown, Jacobs and an opt out by Jarques McClellion really hurt the Razorbacks depth at defensive back but these two have filled in admirably moving forward.
Finally, Pittman is hopeful that his two injured starting defensive backs will be healthy by Saturday.
“I hope we get Mo, Slusher, Jerry back. Hudson and Khari did a heck of a job,” said Pittman.
Arkansas will return home this Saturday when they host Ole Miss. The Razorbacks and Rebels will meet for the 66th time on Saturday at 2:30 PM and the game will be televised by ESPN2. Arkansas leads the series against Ole Miss at 36-29-1.