Posted: 11:02 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013
South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney’s questionable status for Saturday’s matchup with Arkansas is not prohibiting the Razorback offense from implementing its scheme, offensive personnel said Tuesday.
The preseason All-American has been battling multiple injuries this season, most recently a muscle strain around the rib area which sidelined him for last weekend’s game with Kentucky.
Quarterback Brandon Allen said the offense is preparing for the Gamecock defense as if Clowney will be in the lineup.
"We prepare as if he’s going to play," Allen said. "If he doesn’t play, or if he does play, we’re going to be prepared for it."
As far as blocking the physical South Carolina defensive line, fullback Kiero Small pointed out great blocking will be vital if Arkansas hopes to have success on offense Saturday.
"We know [Clowney] is a great player," Small said. "If he plays, we have to focus on blocking. But if he doesn’t play, we have to focus on the next guy up."
Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney knows the challenge ahead this weekend with and without Clowney, and complimented the Gamecock defense, saying "they personify" a typical Southeastern Conference defense with their physicality and speed.
"They play good football up front, they’re sound in the back end, and they’re very, very physical," Chaney said.
After running its losing streak up to three games Saturday night in Gainesville, Arkansas is focusing solely on South Carolina as its game to get back to its winning ways.
"You want the next game to be the one," Small said of the opportunity to get back on track against the Gamecocks.
"We’re going to focus on executing our gameplan, and making this game the game we bounce back," he continued.
Freshman tight end Hunter Henry noted coaches are really pushing the team in practice this week as the team heads into game seven of a long eight-game stretch to open the season. Arkansas does not have a bye week until week 9.
"[Coaches] are helping us a lot with our legs," Henry said. "They’re pushing us, but everybody’s doing a great job."
Henry, the team leader in receiving yards, looks for the receiving corps to "come back strong" this week after a lackluster performance and multiple drops last weekend.
"It would be big for them, not only confidence wise, but for the team, too," he continued.
As far as injuries are are concerned, Brandon Allen says his throwing hand, which was bloodied during the second half against Florida, and his shoulder are good to go for Saturday.
Henry also said the injury to his knee, which was reaggravated against the Gators, is "all right," and should be ready to go Saturday.
Travis Swanson said "being told I was done for the rest of the night was pretty frustrating," but should be ready this weekend after suffering a slight MCL tear in his knee.