Ole Miss defensive standouts Lakia Henry, Tavius Robinson discuss what to expect from Arkansas this Saturday
OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss returns home this week to face off against SEC West foe Arkansas. Both teams are coming off losses on the road to the top two teams in the country in Alabama and Georgia.
This week presents yet another challenge for both sides as the grueling week-to-week grind of an SEC schedule is truly a gauntlet of the nation’s best.
Both Ole Miss and Arkansas struggled to defend the run game last week as each team surrendered more than 200 yards on the ground — Ole Miss’ 210 yards to the Tide and Arkansas’ 273 to the Bulldogs.
Facing the top two teams in the country can expose even the slightest weakness a team may have. Linebacker Lakia Henry discussed the Hogs and what the Rebels will face Saturday.
“They’re a really good football team.” Henry said.
“They had a real bad game last week, same as we did. They are going to come in and try to run the football, so we really have to stop the run. They’ve got a really good quarterback, so we’ve got to stop him on the run, stop the pass. I really think it’s going to be a great game honestly.”
Ole Miss LB Lakia Henry
Defensive lineman Tavius Robinson also knows the type of game Ole Miss will have on its hands this weekend.
“I’m sure Arkansas is going to come in and be ready to play hard but so are we, it’s going to be a battle for sure.”
DL Tavius Robinson
Arkansas QB K.J. Jefferson is a Sardis, Miss. native
Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson, a Sardis, Miss. native, is the only SEC quarterback so far this season to have over 900 yards passing and 200 yards rushing.
“He can hurt you with his arm, but he can really hurt you with his legs so, we have to defend both,” Henry said. “We’ve got to be tuned in to the run because he adds an extra hat. We’ve got to be keyed in to the run.”
Jefferson is a big-bodied player listed at 6’3” 245 pounds. Robinson also spoke on the challenges Jefferson presents with his size and ability to run. “It really puts the emphasis on being physical all week. It starts with Tuesday’s practice, we have to be physical every day and be prepared for that come Saturday,” he said.
On the SEC Football Coaches Teleconference Wednesday, head coach Lane Kiffin agreed with his two defensive standouts.
“Crazy how big he is. That’s an issue. He’s like a giant running back back there when he runs the ball. He’s improved in some throws, so very dangerous. They make a lot of big plays off the run game.”
Coach Lane Kiffin on K.J. Jefferson
Ole Miss and Arkansas will kick off at 11 a.m. in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium this Saturday. The game will be aired on ESPN.
(Feature image photo credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss; graphic: Nick Filipich, Rebel Walk)