for this game

Louisiana-Monroe-Arkansas Preview

Sep 7, 2010 - 11:52 PM By JEFF MEZYDLO STATS Senior Writer

Louisiana-Monroe (0-0) at Arkansas (1-0), 7:00 p.m. EDT

Despite winning its season opener in a relatively easy manner, Arkansas knows it might need to put forth a more complete effort in its next game.

The 14th-ranked Razorbacks look for a seventh straight victory in Little Rock while trying to remain perfect against Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday night.

Though Arkansas has averaged 40.8 points while going 8-0 against Louisiana-Monroe, it needed to score 14 unanswered fourth-quarter points to rally for a 28-27 win in Little Rock in their last meeting Sept. 6, 2008.

With the memory of that near victory a likely means of motivation as the Warhawks head into their 2010 opener, Arkansas knows it can't take anything for granted.

That's especially true after the Razorbacks trailed 3-0 before scoring touchdowns on six straight possessions during a 44-3 rout of Tennessee Tech last Saturday.

"We didn't execute to our standards," quarterback Ryan Mallett said. "We've got to come out of the gates faster."

Mallett is certainly capable of helping the Razorbacks do that. A potential Heisman Trophy candidate, he went 21 of 24 for 301 yards and three touchdowns in the opener.

Poised to become Mallett's top target this season, junior receiver Joe Adams caught six passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Adams had seven receptions for 89 yards against Louisiana-Monroe in 2008.

"We've got to get him more touches," coach Bobby Petrino said. "When that ball's under his arm, he's special."

While Petrino and the Razorbacks would like the offense to start stronger, the defense hopes to build on a strong opening performance after the unit allowed 401.2 yards per game to finish last in the SEC a year ago.

Though it came against Tennessee Tech of the FCS, the Razorbacks yielded 187 yards and kept an opponent out of the end zone for the first time since a 9-7 loss to then-No. 22 Auburn on Oct. 13, 2007.

Moved from the secondary to linebacker, senior Anthony Leon had two sacks and four tackles for loss.

"I wasn't surprised," Petrino said. "The minute he stepped into that position, it was like, 'Ooooh, wow.'"

Leon and the Razorbacks will try to contain Louisiana-Monroe's Frank Goodin, who is fourth on the school's rushing list with 2,505 yards and on the Doak Walker Award watch list. The senior rushed for 1,126 yards and 13 touchdowns as the Warhawks went 6-6 last season.

Goodin, second in school history with 22 rushing touchdowns, needs 874 rushing yards and nine rushing TDs to become the Warhawks' all-time leader in both categories.

Louisiana-Monroe is the only school in the FCS or FBS to open against a ranked opponent for three straight years. Though the Warhawks are 0-17 against ranked schools since 1994, coach Todd Berry is excited to see how his team will handle another tough test right off the bat.

"We tend to challenge each other mentally to an extreme degree," Berry told the school's official website. "We're not completely there yet mentally, but in the same sense I am hopeful that when we get to game time that not only will the game be easier from a physical standpoint."

Arkansas has won seven in a row against non-conference opponents.