FAYETTEVILLE — With Arkansas’ defense struggling in the secondary and also having issues stopping the run in recent games Sam Pittman continues to make changes.

Among the changes is Pittman is moving defensive coordinator Barry Odom to the sideline instead of in the press box. On Wednesday he explained the reasoning for the move.

“I don’t know,” Pittman said. “I’m not positive. We just felt like with where we’re at injury wise back there and this, that and the other, we just felt like we needed him down there to inspire and coach on the sideline, face to face, things of that nature. I don’t know if it will or not. Could this week again just simply because there’s a possibility, we might play some young kids. We’ve got Coach (Dominique) Bowman back there as well, but we might do it again. I don’t know.”

In addition, Pittman has also moved freshman wide receiver Quincey McAdoo to cornerback. He moved another freshman wide receiver Sam Mbake last week to cornerback. Pittman has seen his secondary depleted by injuries.

“Well, we can’t get healthy,” Pittman said. “So, it’s sort of like when you’re in high school ball and you go over there and look at your roster and go down the hall and say ‘hey, what are you doing this afternoon” type deal. Quincey played it in high school. Really, to be honest with you, he hurt his hand and he wouldn’t do us a whole lot of good at receiver because of the hand situation. At least we believe he could tackle still with a slight wrap on his hand. He actually came to us.

“Once we moved Mbake, Quincey came to us and said ‘Coach, if you need some help on defense, I’d be more than happy as soon as I get cleared to go to practice and move over.’ To be honest with you, he’s a natural over there. He’s a really good receiver, but he looks great over there. They’ve spent a lot of time meeting with him if that gives you any indication of what we think he could do over there. A lot of extra time. As a matter of fact, I just saw him down the hallway. He came in for some extra meetings. They think a lot of him and that’s how it happened.”

Is McAdoo likely to go back to wide receiver in the spring?

“I think for him and Mbake both, we gave them the opportunity to go back in the spring to wide receiver if that’s what they choose,” Pittman said. “We’ll just let the kids, you know, we’ll obviously encourage one way or the other, but we’ll let the kids decide what they want to do in spring. But they’ll both be over to the secondary for the remainder of the year.”

Arkansas lost safety Jalen Catalon and cornerback LaDarrius Bishop for the season earlier. Myles Slusher has been injured much of the season and didn’t make the trip to Starkville. Jayden Johnson and Khari Johnson both were injured against Mississippi State and had to leave the game. Pittman said the two freshmen are looking forward to getting game action.

“They’re really excited, and it’s fun to watch,” Pittman said. “You know, they’re getting better, playing faster. They’re starting to understand a little bit more. I’m not going to lie to you and say they know everything that’s going on. But if we put them between, it’s sort of like an offensive lineman, if you put a guard between a tackle and a center that knows what he’s doing, they can like talk to him and then let their athletic ability make plays.

“I don’t know if we’re quite there yet with either one of those guys. But I believe after the bye week, I believe that both of them will play football for us. A significant amount, I was going to say I don’t know that for sure, but they’re both going to help us this year. And a lot of times you make moves, Bob, and it doesn’t work out. These two will work out, and they’ll help us this year. They’re talented kids. They were good wideouts as well, but they’re physical and they’re talented, and they want to get on the field, so they’re willing to do the extra to do that. I really like them. I like them at wideout. I like them over at the DB spot, too.”

Arkansas and BYU will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be televised on ESPN.