"We had a lot of fun out there," Chaney bubbled. "A lot of energy. It was a neat deal. We put a little bit of the game plan in. They got excited about that. The kids always lock back in about this time. Even though they're dead tired they actually quit thinking about how tired they are and start thinking about the opponent."
No game plan is complete without a proper simulation of the opponent. The players who provide that service used to be called a scout team. These days coaches and players refer to it as "the look" team.
"Auburn has a lot of different defenses," junior quarterback Brandon Allen noted. ""They throw a lot of different things at you. I thought the look team today did a great job of showing their coverages and their blitzes. That's very important for an offense, when you don't get to practice against Auburn, you've got to practice against a look team that has to be very similar to them."
Starting running back Jonathan Williams, who suffered a hamstring pull in the first of two Saturday scrimmages in pre-season camp is working his way back onto the practice field this week. "We have great trainers," Williams acknowledged. "Hamstrings can linger so we didn't want that to happen so that's why I'm slowly getting back into it. But it's feeling real good and I'm excited to be back out there."
Williams said the team actually has been preparing for Auburn as far back as last spring. Part of that preparation was a complete review of last year's Arkansas-Auburn game won by the Tigers 35-17 with a second half surge.
"It wasn't a game that got out of hand," Williams recalled. "It was a game that we felt like we were in. Auburn's a good team. They kind of out-disciplined us throughout the course of the game and into the third and fourth quarters. That's what we have to get better at."
Sophomore running back Korliss Marshall spoke for the first time about the 57 yard touchdown run he reeled off in last Saturday's public scrimmage. Marshal said he can actually tell he's faster than he was last year at this time telling reporters, "I don't understand how but it's always something I've been able to notice. I plan on being faster the year after and the year after that. I'm just going to continue to keep working at it."
Marshal paid tribute to the two newcomers who cleared the way for him on that run, junior college transfer Sebastian Tretola and true freshman Brian Wallace. "They're going to contribute to some good long runs this season," Marshall beamed. "Sebastian, he also helped me out today with a nice little inside run. He does a good job of covering up linebackers. They can barely even see us running backs when we get the ball. We've got big healthy guys in front of us to clear them out of the way."
Chaney said he felt like Arkansas had a good running game a season ago but it didn't equate to victories. The goal since last spring and on into the season opener is to become a more physical offense which, he believes, will result in more wins.