FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — No. 25 Arkansas’ secondary has faced a lot of challenges this fall with injuries among the factors.

On Tuesday, Arkansas made a move that Sam Pittman has talked about possibly happening with Hudson Clark moving to first-team safety. Clark has played in all five games thus far with most of the time spent at cornerback. Clark has nine tackles, six solo, one for loss, four pass breakups, a fumble recovery and two forced fumbles.

In another move, Arkansas shifted true freshman wide receiver Sam Mbake to cornerback. He has been on the special teams this season recording one tackle. Safety Simeon Blair talked about the two moves following practice.

“Yeah, Sam’s a very great athlete,” Blair said. “He goes on 110% each and every day, whether that’s at gunner, whether we’ll send him to receiver on scout team, and now seeing him at DB. He does a lot of good for us. He picks up on the defense very quick. And Hud, we’ve crossed-trained all spring ball, all fall camp.

“And Hud’s a very smart player, so it was really a very easy transition when we saw him at safety a little bit this week. He’s a very smart player. He’s able to break on routes very good. I feel like he can be a very good help to us back there.”

Closing in on Record

On another note on defense linebacker Bumper Pool is closing in on the all-time tackles record at Arkansas. Former linebacker Tony Bua holds the mark with 408 tackles. Pool will enter the Mississippi State game on Saturday with 395. Pool talked about what the record will mean to him when he breaks it.

“That’s what makes coming to Arkansas so special, is there is a ton of talent that has played here and there’s such great history,” Pool said. “Anytime that you can have a piece of history with a school like Arkansas, it will mean everything to you. We’re just going out there to get a win, and then we’ll worry about all that whenever it happens.”

Bua was the honorary captain for the Hogs at the Texas A&M game and now lives in the same city in Texas, Lucas, that Pool is from. Pool met Bua and talked about that.

“I think Tony being such a great person makes it even more special,” Pool said. “I had the opportunity to talk to him before the Texas A&M game. Just kind of to see his determination on the field and then again off the field at the age he’s at now, he’s got that fire in him. The fact that he’s had it for so long makes it that much more special. This weekend, getting to go out there and play Mississippi State at that stadium, we’ve had success there two years ago. In that locker room, it means something to us because we got our first SEC win there. So all of that coming together is special. We’re very excited about getting out there this Saturday.”

Pool needs 13 tackles this weekend to tie the record and 14 to break it. Two years ago in Starkville he had 20 tackles in Arkansas’ win over the Bulldogs. He talked about that game in what proved to be Pittman’s first win at Arkansas.

“Like I said, that locker room, there’s not that many moments you have in life that are that special,” Pool said. “Especially for how hard we had worked leading up to that point. Being able to get the win, having those 20 tackles, just a great moment for myself and for the entire team and getting that ‘turn the jukebox on’ thing. Just very special. We have it in the back of our mind to get that swagger back this week and get back in there.”

Confidence in Both

Center Ricky Stromberg said if Cade Fortin and Malik Hornsby have to play quarterback in place of the injured KJ Jefferson on Saturday the team has confidence in each of them.

“Yeah, they’re both great QBs,” Stromberg said. “It doesn’t matter who’s behind me, who I’m snapping to, because I’ve got great confidence in them. We have three really good QBs, including KJ obviously. So no, I have no concern with them at all. I’m excited to have either one of them behind me. As an offense, we’re confident in them.”

Arkansas and Mississippi State will kickoff at 11 a.m. on Saturday and televised on the SEC Network.