Defense in hot pursuit
University of Arkansas coach Paul Haynes works with the defense during practice Tuesday afternoon in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas sacked South Carolina five times in last year’s 44-28 victory in Fayetteville, a feat the Hogs hope to repeat Saturday when the teams meet in Columbia, S.C.
“Oh yeah, we most definitely want to get after him,” defensive end Trey Flowers said. “That’s our No. 1 thing as a d-line is to affect the quarterback. We hit him early, have him thinking a lot later in the game, so we’re going to try to get after him.”
Defensive tackle Alfred Davis said Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw has improved throwing the football this season.
“Everyone in the country knows he can get out and scramble in space,” Davis said. “We just have to contain him as much as we possibly can and try to keep him from getting outside the pocket.”
Arkansas Coach John L.
Smith said tailback Knile Davis could be sufficiently recovered from a hamstring problem to play Saturday.
“We’re knocking on wood that the leg is fine, it’s no more sore, nor worse for wear, and if anything it’s better,” Smith said. “That one’s about a 50-50 shot right now and we’re hoping for the best.”
Smith said on the SEC coaches teleconference he had no news on receiver Brandon Mitchell, who has missed two games while his eligibility is under review by UA officials. He said there might be an update on Mitchell by the end oftoday’s practice.
It’s Smith’s call
Linebackers coach Taver Johnson said the length of linebacker Terrell Williams’ suspension would be decided by Coach John L.
“The thing he’s got to do is be humble now and just make sure that he shows his teammates that he really wants to be a part,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s message to Williams: “I don’t know that I needed to tell him anything, you know? When I saw him, sometimes saying very little is saying a lot, and that’s what I tried to do to.” Getting better
Arkansas has held its past four opponents to an average of 293.7 yards per game while going 3-1. In its first five games, the Razorbacks allowed 510 yards per game and ranked 116th nationally.
The recent stretch has lifted Arkansas to 72nd in total defense, with an average of 413.9 yards per game.
“In this last month, we have gotten a lot better definitely at stopping the run,” coordinator Paul Haynes said. “We have to get a lot better in our pass coverage and our pass drops and continue understanding where we have to go, but definitely there is improvement as a whole defense.” Gamecocks update
Coach Steve Spurrier said Wednesday quarterback Connor Shaw had much more mobility on his sprained foot Tuesday and was close to full speed.
“Our trainers say he should be fine by this Saturday, so he should be 100 percent,” Spurrier said.
South Carolina’s Kenny Miles went through Senior Day ceremonies last year as a fourth-year player, but he’s the projected starter at tailback for the Gamecocks on Saturday.
Miles, who redshirted in 2008, asked Coach Steve Spurrier if he could returnafter the season ended.
“He went through senior day last year before the Clemson game, thinking he may try to go pro or whatever, but he enjoys it here,” Spurrier said. “He’s a super Gamecock.”
Three in a row
Arkansas has won the past three games against South Carolina, but Arkansas safety Ross Rasner said those games don’t matter.
“That’s something to keep in mind, but then again it’s a whole new year,” Rasner said. “Any of the plays we made last year against them, those don’t count. So we have to treat this like any other game.
“They’re a great opponent, and they’ve had a good year so far.”SATURDAY’S GAMES All times Central Arkansas at South Carolina, 11 a.m.
Missouri at Tennessee, 11:21 a.m.
La.-Lafayette at Florida, 11:21 a.m.
Texas A&M at Alabama, 2:30 p.m.
Mississippi State at LSU, 6 p.m.
Georgia at Auburn, 6 p.m.
Vanderbilt at Mississippi, 6 p.m.
SATURDAY, NOV. 17 Arkansas at Miss. State, 11:21 a.m.
W. Carolina at Alabama, 11:21 a.m.
Jacksonville State at Florida, noon Wofford at South Carolina, noon Georgia Southern at Georgia, 12:30 p.m. Alabama A&M at Auburn, 1 p.m.
Sam Houston St. at Texas A&M, 2:30 p.m. Mississippi at LSU, 2:30 p.m.
Syracuse at Missouri, 6 p.m.
Tennessee at Vanderbilt, 6 p.m.
Samford at Kentucky, 6:30 p.m.
Sports, Pages 30 on 11/08/2012