Arkansas will leave today for Baton Rouge to take on No. 25 LSU on Saturday morning in Tiger Stadium. The Hogs have worked hard this week as they try to even the season record.
The Razorbacks have 14 players from Louisiana including sophomore linebacker De'Jon Harris who leads the team with 81 tackles. Harris has also added seven tackles for loss, two sacks, two quarterback hurries and one quarterback hurry. He played his high school football at Harvey (La.) John Ehret. He's excited to play a game close to home.
"It's my first game there," Harris said. "I'm very excited. I always wanted to play there. At least I'll get to play against them. I just want to play on the field. Growing up as a Tiger fan, and now going up against some close friends. I'll have a lot of family and friends there. A lot of my family get to come and watch me play, so I'm very excited."
Harris had offers from several schools coming out of high school including Alabama. But he didn't have one from LSU. Does it bug you some that LSU didn't offer?
"No, I really wasn't talking to them that much," Harris said. "It wasn't really serious. It doesn't bother me (to not get offer). I never pictured myself playing there. I wanted to play there, but I never really pictured myself playing at LSU. I took a couple trips there for junior day and I went to a camp there. But that's all."
With 14 players on the roster from Louisiana how is that a helpful thing to you and others?
"It's a great thing to have so many guys from back home," Harris said. "They understand you. To have some guys to feel comfortable around is very good."
How many players on the LSU team do you know?
"I know probably the whole LSU team to be honest," Harris said. "Just guys I grew up around, played pickup basketball with and stuff like that. It adds a lot of fuel to the game. I want to beat them all. On the field, we're not friends, but after the game we get back to being buddy-buddies."
Outside linebacker Dwayne Eugene is a senior from Marrero (La.) Archbishop Rummel. He has 29 tackles 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks with six starts in nine games this season. He wasn't offered by LSU and he admits that is on his mind for this game.
"Yes sir, it's definitely a motivational factor," Eugene said. "That's with every team we play that I didn't get an offer from. It just gives me something to go out and prove."
Also being a senior this will be your last time to play LSU. Is that also a motivating factor?
"Definitely there's extra motivation," Eugene said. "Being it's my last time to play LSU, I want to go out on top with a victory. This game means a lot to me."
Eugene was a member of the 2015 team that went into Tiger Stadium and blasted LSU 31-14. What do you have to do to win in what is called Death Valley?
"You have to tune out the crowd," Eugene said. "And you know the most physical team is going to win. I think we have to go out and play a four-quarter game and not a two-quarter game. We can't be off and on. We have to be on from the start and we have to finish the game."
Arkansas is a big underdog in this game just like Coastal Carolina was last week when they played the Hogs. What do you think about being in the underdog role this week?
"I don't really get into that type of stuff," Eugene said. "Any given week, anyone can be beaten. I just look forward to the task at hand. LSU is this week. We may be an underdog. That's just an outsider's prediction. It doesn't have to be the end result."
The winner of the Arkansas and LSU game gets the Golden Boot trophy. The Tigers took it back home last year after the Razorbacks had it for two years. What does that trophy mean to you guys?
"It means a lot," Harris said. "That's something we've emphasized this week at practice. Just bringing it back home. It's a great honor to play for it."
Junior Dre Greenlaw was a starter at linebacker on that 2015 team that beat LSU. He talked about how the Hogs won that game.
"Really we played fast that game," Greenlaw said. "We really executed the game plan. I feel like everybody was just swarming around the ball. We did a good job - Leonard Fournette was the running back at the time. We did a good job of stopping him from getting over 100 yards.
"We really started off the game really well. It really helped us build momentum, create momentum throughout the game and they started getting momentum, I remember, in the second half, and we ended up shutting it down and being able to finish."
In general what does a team have to do to win in that atmosphere and stadium?
"I mean, they're a great team," Greenlaw said. "They've got two physical running backs, some good-sized wide receivers, a good quarterback. To go out there and beat a team like this you've got to just be mentally and physically tough really. The tougher team is definitely going to win. We've got to go out and execute our plan and play physical. We know down in Death Valley they're going to bring it so we've got to bring it right back with them."
The kickoff is set for 11 a.m. CT on Saturday and to be televised by ESPN.