Petrino: Playing our game will be good enough

October, 15, 2009
10/15/09
12:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low


The last time Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett faced a defense this good, he left dazed and confused.

Really, the whole Arkansas offense did.

Alabama took the Hogs out of everything they wanted to do last month in a 35-7 beating, and Mallett spent the afternoon on the run while going 12-of-35 for a season-low 160 yards, a touchdown and one interception.

Having seen that caliber of defense, though, Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino thinks Mallett will be more prepared for what he’s getting himself into this Saturday against a Florida defense that might be just as good.

Statistically, the Gators are better.

“Really, it’s all 11 guys on offense,” Petrino said. “Bama’s speed and strength kind of took us out of our game and took us away from utilizing our techniques and our fundamentals and hurrying and rushing everything, so hopefully that experience [will help].

“We did come back and move the ball better in the second half against them. We didn’t score like we wanted to, but we did move the ball.”

More than anything, Petrino thinks the Hogs lost their confidence against the Crimson Tide.

“That’s what I really felt like happened in the Alabama game,” he said. “We didn’t play our football game. We got out of it.”

And the message he’s driven home to his team all week long is to learn from what happened against Alabama.

“The key for us is to play our football game,” Petrino said. “We don’t have to do anything extraordinary to win this game. We just have to play Razorback football.”

Mallett has thrown six touchdown passes since that Alabama loss, and the Razorbacks have scored 41 or more points in every other game they’ve played this season.

“They’re one of the top 5 teams in the country as far as hot offensive teams,” Florida coach Urban Meyer said.

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