FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas will play its first road game all season on Saturday night when it takes on No. 12 LSU in Baton Rouge.
The Hogs opened the season in Little Rock, but War Memorial Stadium is considered a home game. The other two Arkansas games were in Fayetteville’s Razorback Stadium. Arkansas and LSU will both enter the game with 2-1 records. The Hogs are coming off a disappointing 38-31 loss to BYU.
The Razorbacks committed 14 penalties, two very short punts, two turnovers plus a missed field goal against BYU. Safety Alfahiym Walcott talked about what the message has been from the coaches this week following Tuesday’s practice.
“Little things,” Walcott said. “Defensively, the little things we have to take care of. I think that’s what beat us the last game. The little things, eyes. Taking care of the little things will fix the problems going into this week.”
Walcott and the Arkansas defense only allowed 281 yards of total offense to BYU. That should be good enough to win a game, but it wasn’t on Saturday. Walcott talked about what the Hogs have to do to cut down on the penalties.
“As a DB, our coach is going to let us know right as it happens,” Walcott said. “So, even if we have reps out there or not, the coaches are going to let us know whether it’s a penalty or not. We just need to eliminate that as a whole.”
Many of the penalties were on the offense. Tight end Luke Hasz had four receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown. He talked about avoiding penalties.
“I’d say it’s for sure listening to our coaches because we have a really great coaching staff who is really good on the details in practice,” Hasz said. “So, for my position personally, just keeping our hands inside and ultimately trying to keep playing clean but do what we do.”
Hasz said the Hogs won’t have any trouble moving on from their first loss of the season.
“Nobody likes losing, especially with all the work we’ve put in and the time that we spend trying to win,” Hasz said. “Just going and starting this week strong. We’ve been practicing really well. I think it’s great, but we’ve moved on from it.”
In a 41-14 victory over Mississippi State this past Saturday, LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers had 13 catches for 239 yards and two touchdowns. Walcott said the Hogs are very aware of Nabers.
“He’s very elusive,” Walcott said. “At the top of his routes, he’s very good, and then high-pointing the ball he’s very good. That’s No. 5’s (Jayden Daniels) favorite target. So, we’re going to hone in on him and key on him but still play our game and do what we want to do.”
On the other side of the football, Hasz and the Hogs will have to find a way to block LSU’s Harold Perkins. He was outstanding against Arkansas in 2022 as LSU narrowly escaped past the Hogs 13-10.
“He’s a really great athlete,” Hasz said. “Watching him on film, he’s fast, he’s physical and he’s all over the field. So, it will definitely be exciting to go against someone of his caliber.”
Former Missouri defensive end Trajan Jeffcoat also talked about what the Hogs have to do coming off a loss.
“Definitely regroup, move forward,” Jeffcoat said. “Know what we got to focus on. Take it one day at a time.”
Jeffcoat was a freshman at Missouri in 2018, but despite being in the SEC for a long time he has only faced LSU once and that was in Columbia. Arkansas’ other starting defensive end, Landon Jackson, started his career at LSU. Has he told Jeffcoat anything about playing in Tiger Stadium?
“No tips, but he definitely is excited on going back to Baton Rouge and playing,” Jeffcoat said. “He said the environment is pretty good. I’m just excited to play in that environment.”
The kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on ESPN.