AUBURN – The Auburn Tigers picked up their second win in a row over the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville, Tenn., last weekend.
Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze has turned his attention to the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Freeze opened up his weekly press conference by sending his wishes to the coaches of other Auburn teams, including both basketball coaches who start their seasons this week.
"I'd love to wish good luck to Coach J (Johnnie Harris) and women's basketball and Bruce (Pearl) and men's basketball, and I know volleyball has a huge match coming up, so Coach (Brent) Crouch and his squad, we're pulling for them also," Freeze said.
Freeze acknowledged how he liked what he saw from the team in Nashville but there is still work to do.
"Watching the film yesterday, there were a lot of good things, and some that were not so good, and then some that, had we made certain plays, the game would’ve been firmly in control," Freeze said. "I don't know that we can have those not go our way this week in Arkansas. I'm really impressed with them."
He continued, "I think they've lost five games by one score or less to really good football teams. Obviously, they're coming off a big win on the road in Gainesville. I think they've got a lot of motivation, and it's a very scary team. I think they're doing a good job."
Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson is good at extending plays. Freeze talked about the challenge that presents.
"It is just amazing some of the tackles he gets out of and then extends plays," Freeze said. "That is certainly an area we got to look at. If you watch him enough you know you’re not going to get him on the ground every single time. You just hope those are not explosive runs or explosive passes that happen after you miss him. He is very strong and very difficult to get on the ground.”
"You know I tell our teams the truth, and I remember telling them that, ‘Listen, you’re the underdog and you shouldn’t win this game, but that's what makes it fun. You know, to go and give it a shot and while you play the game, you don't have to be better 10 times, you just have to be better that one day.’ I can't remember exactly what our theme was that week or anything, but our kids played really hard that day and stopped their run pretty much so that's something we need to do this week also," he added.
Arkansas recently made a change at offensive coordinator. Freeze discussed how he and his staff would adjust.
“This is not saying that we will have the greatest plan to stop them, but I think it is pretty clear that they were frustrated with what they were doing. I think it is a pretty stark difference. The guy who is calling it now, background is with the former offensive coordinator, so I think it’s a pretty good bet that you can throw a lot of film out, unless you are just looking at personnel and probably need to pull a few games from last year, in my opinion, to go with what they did at Florida."
Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised on SEC Network.
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