Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Though no one at Arkansas expected their defensive showing against Texas A&M to be quite the bloodbath it proved to be -- 628 total yards given up, 381 on the ground, even in the win -- the Razorbacks could at least comfort themselves with the fact that multiple key defenders were either banged-up or out completely. And with Auburn on deck for Saturday, they can now comfort themselves that one of those defenders is set to return at last.
Bobby Petrino confirmed Thursday night that All-SEC defensive end (and CBSSports.com College Football 100 member) Jake Bequette will play against the Tigers, ending a four-week absence following a hamstring injury suffered against New Mexico.
"He’s been in there and done a nice job," Petrino said of Bequette's week of practice. "He’ll be ready to go."
It's boost enough for the Razorbacks that Bequette is a decorated senior leader who led the team in sacks in 2010 and has long been one of the team's stouter defenders against the run. But there also might be no position where Arkansas needs the help more than at defensive end, where the Hogs' second projected starter, Tenarius Wright, is still recovering from a broken arm. With both Wright and Bequette out, the Hogs failed to record a single sack on 35 Texas A&M passing attempts and have just five for the season, tied for 98th in the FBS.
With Auburn certain to ride Michael Dyer on the ground and look for big plays down the field in the passing game -- the sort of plays a pass rush would help disrupt -- Bequette could be returning just in time. With the senior on the field, if the Tigers gouge the Razorbacks in any similar fashion to the way the Aggies did, there's going to be even less comfort this time around.