The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


October 5, 2012

Struggling Arkansas, Auburn meet badly needing win


Both teams are happily turning the page on a lost September and defiantly clinging to hopes of a turnaround. Arkansas tailback Knile Davis isn't giving up yet.

"I mean, because I know we're good," Davis said. "This is the same guys from last year. You don't go from Cotton Bowl to just the bottom of the rack, just like that. It's a lot of things internally that we've just got to fix. And I love all these guys, know all these guys can play. We all know these guys can play, including myself. I know that I can play the game. I just know that we're good and we're capable of winning and we've just got to get it done."

That starts for both teams with shoring up major deficiencies that just happen to coincide nicely.

The Tigers can't pass, the Razorbacks can't stop the pass.

Quarterback Kiehl Frazier and Auburn rank 114th nationally in passing offense, averaging 145 yards a game. Arkansas' defense is allowing 349 yards a game through the air, ranking 117th.

The Razorbacks have had injuries, and Auburn is without suspended wide receiver Quan Bray. That leaves Emory Blake and tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen as the only reliable targets left unless someone from among a group of youngsters steps up.

Arkansas has struggled badly against dual-threat quarterbacks like Louisiana-Monroe's Kolton Browning and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, who combined for 1,039 total yards against the Razorbacks. Frazier has barely run this season but that's all he was called upon to do as a freshman.

"He's a great athlete. Quarterbacks like that, you have to find a way to contain them," defensive tackle Alfred Davis said. "And the quarterback last week (Manziel) was a scrambler. And ULM, same situation where they had great a scrambling quarterback. That's something we'll have to deal with this week.

"We'll have to try to find ways to keep him in the pocket and check him on bootlegs and reverses and stuff like that. Things that he can get outside of the pocket and make plays with his feet on. We'll just have to find a way as a defense to control him."

That would be a nice start.

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