Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson feels his defense had a good practice on Wednesday as the game with Troy Saturday night in Reynolds Razorback Stadium grows nearer.
Safety Eric Bennett is one of the defenders defensive coordinator Willy Robinson felt played well this past Saturday.
Arkansas has allowed 10 points in two games, but Robinson knows Saturday's fast-paced offense used by Troy will be its biggest test.
“The last two weeks they're a tremendous step up,” Robinson said. “They're a very talented, confident football team. They've had two weeks to prepare for us so I'm sure they're going to fix the things that they feel they had issues with when they played Clemson.”
Troy lost to Clemson 43-19 in the season opener on Sept. 3. Troy is picked to finish second in the Sun Belt Conference and generally plays SEC schools pretty tough.
“They're extremely good at the skill positions,” Robinson said. “They're young in the offensive line. They have an Outland Trophy candidate over there at left tackle. The quarterback is a really good football player....he can flick it. He does a great job as far as moving it around to several different receivers.”
Senior James Brown is the offensive tackle Robinson referred to. Brown is a senior from Liberty (Miss.). Sophomore Corey Robinson is the quarterback and needs just 16 yards to become only the sixth player in school history to throw for at least 4,000 yards in a career.
Robinson also detailed what issues he thinks Troy has tried to fix since the opener with the open week giving them an extra week to get ready for the Razorbacks.
“I think they had some miscues as far as reading coverages and stuff,” Robinson said. “They had really bad field position a lot of the time. They just didn't seem to get into a flow of things. I think that's first-game jitters, especially in a place like that.”
One negative for Arkansas' defense this season has been the lack of turnovers. Robinson is hopeful that gets corrected this week after some narrow misses in the first two weeks.
“We're not doing a very good job on that,” Robinson said. “I think we had four missed opportunities last week. We had three the week before that we should have picked. When you look back at last week's game we probably had two pick sixes if we had intercepted it. You know what they say about if's. We've got to do a better job. I think we've done a much better job this week as far as getting hands on balls and making interceptions."
Jerico Nelson has spent time at both safety and outside linebacker for Arkansas this season. Robinson is pleased with Nelson's versatility too.
“He does a lot of things for us,” Robinson said. “To be able to move him in and out of different teams and units helps us with our dynamics as far as he might be that guy they're counting and we might not be bringing him. He does a nice job and he has really worked hard to learn all those positions. He did very well and I think (safety) Eric Bennett had a great game.”
In 2009, Arkansas beat Troy 56-20 in Razorback Stadium, but the Trojans offense had a nice day as far as yardage. Troy had 455 yards of offense, but had four turnovers. The two teams combined to total over 1,000 yards of total offense in the game.