Defense holds the key
There are high hopes in Fayetteville because of the potent offense, but this team will only be as successful as the defense allows. Arkansas gave up 3,230 yards and 22 touchdowns through the air last year, with five teams throwing for 300 yards or more. The Pigs also were last in the SEC in total defense, allowing 5,215 yards.
There are, however, some positives heading into this season. Senior Rudell Crim played cornerback last year, but has been moved to safety, where he made big plays in the spring. Darius Winston, one of the top-ranked defensive backs coming out of high school in 2008, also has shown significant improvement since his freshman season and is expected to start.
The Razorbacks’ best defender is junior linebacker Jerry Franklin, who led the team in tackles last season with 94, including one sack. He also had three interceptions.