BLOG: Bequette Out Against ‘Bama
Bequette sustained the injury in the first quarter of the New Mexico game and missed the Troy game last week. The No. 14 Razorbacks’ will be without their top pass rusher for the conference opener against the No. 3 Crimson Tide.
“He made huge improvement throughout the whole week, but he didn’t’ quite get ready to practice, so he’ll be out this week,” Petrino said. “I’m encouraged with how much improvement he made. Hopefully he’ll be back next week.”
Bequette, a second-team preseason All-Southeastern Conference selection, led the Hogs with seven sacks last season. He has four tackles and one sack in four-plus quarters this year.
“It’s really hard,” Petrino said. “It’s hard for him. He hasn’t missed games. He’s a guyt hat works out year round. He’s in great physical shape. But the hamstring needs to heal before he can get back out there. He’s working hard at it. He’s in the training room all the time working at it.”
Sophomore Chris Smith will start in Bequette’s place for the second consecutive week. Smith totaled four tackles and one sack. He has 10 tackles and 1.5 sacks on the season.
“I thought he did a good job,” Petrino said. “He had a nice sack and he played extremely hard. His athleticism really showed up, his ability to change directions and run down the line, not always making the play, but not allowing a cutback or a place for the running back to run. He did a good job.
Second Down: Smothers prepped for ‘Bama game
True freshman Mitch Smothers will make his first road and Southeastern Conference start Saturday at Alabama.
“He just needs to focus and play his game,” Petrino said. “He’s improved a lot the first three games. He’s improved a lot in practice this week. He’s doing a better job with his pass sets and certainly they’ll probably try to pass rush him. I don’t know what else you do. If you’re an o-lineman you try to pass rush them.”
Third Down: Wilson has sharp week of practice
Junior quarterback Tyler Wilson will make his first SEC and road start Saturday.
He threw for 332 yards and four touchdowns in relief of then-starter Ryan Mallett at Auburn last season.
“He’s been good,” Petrino said. “I think he’s focused real well. He’s throwing the ball very accurately. I’ve seen the players and everybody rally around and he’s ready to go.”
Fourth Down: Hogs over blowout loss
Arkansas lost 35-7 to Alabama in 2009, the Razorbacks’ last trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium.
“I thought there was a lot of things that affected us in 2009,” Petrino said. “Not being able to execute and do the things we normally do. When you don’t have confidence that’s what happens. That’s way behind us.
“This is a new year and a new football team, a new identity. We just need to go down there and focus and concentrate and keep our poise for four quarters.”