Mike Dyer will make his first trip back to his home state.
So said Auburn coach Gene Chizik at his weekly press conference Tuesday.
In last Saturday’s 16-13 win at South Carolina, Dyer ran 25 times, left with an ankle injury and returned to run 16 more times. He tied an Auburn record with 41 carries and gained 141 yards.
Dyer, a sophomore from Little Rock, will play for Auburn in his home state for the first time.
“He’s doing fine,” Chizik said. “He’s going to practice as usual. He will be excited to play.”
Blake, Auburn’s leading receiver, suffered an apparent ankle injury in the third quarter. He returned briefly but was not on the field for the game-winning drive.
“We won’t know until later on the week, but I’m not hopeful right now,” Chizik said. “I am not going to rule him out, but we are planning to play without him. That is going to be our two top receivers we aren’t going to play with in him and Trovon (Reed).
“I think that gives great opportunities to some other guys The Q-Carrs and Travante Stallworths and Quan Brays. DeAngelo Benton, speaking of a guy who stepped up to the plate last week. We will keep working on it until the end of the week, but I’m not hopeful right now.”
Chizik said previously it will be later in the week before the status of cornerback Chris Davis, who did not play at South Carolina, is known.
More from Chizik’s Tuesday’s press conference:
On Arkansas scoring 91 points in the previous two meetings
“They execute extremely well. They have three very talented wide receivers - very explosive, very fast. They are very good with the ball in their hands after the catch. Their running game is always extremely physical. They have big backs and their quarterbacks are very well-coached.
“We have to play much better than we have the last two outings to give ourselves a chance to win. … This is an offense that’s tough to slow down. They are pretty much No. 1 in the league in every category except rushing. They are really good at what they do.”
On seeing Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino’s offense up close when both were coordinators at Auburn in 2002
“There are some really good concepts in there. I don’t know that it’s necessarily night and day different than what everybody else does, but they execute it extremely well. There are some really good concepts in there both running the ball and throwing the ball. Just looking at that offense over the years, the difference is they execute it as well as anybody in the country executes an offense.”
On Arkansas’ wide receivers
“They have a lot of great receivers. They have a new tight end, a young guy getting used to playing. They have three or four really good ones. You can tell there is definitely a conscious coaching effort for them to make yards after the catch. It’s going to be huge for us to be able to tackle those guys in space and limit the yards after catch. That’s exactly where those guys will hurt you.”
On Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson’s performance off the bench in Auburn’s 65-43 victory last season
“I didn’t know a lot about him. I thought he did an unbelievable job on the road in a very critical game of coming in and playing very sound and solid football. For a guy coming off the bench and probably not expecting to play, I thought he showed an unbelievable amount of poise.”
On the defense getting pressure on South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia
“I just felt like we executed better. I felt like we did a better job of getting them in the right places. Guys have to be in the right spots and execute it like they’ve been taught to execute it.”
On the defense gaining confidence
“I think they are. I think this is going to be a great test. There are going to be some things happen in this game they are going to have to overcome. I think this will be a phenomenal test for our guys. We have faced some really good offenses up to this point. This one right here may be the best of all the ones we’ve faced. I think they do feel like in the last two weeks progress has been made. This will be a great test for them.”
“I’m trying to beat Arkansas. I’m not going to worry about all those outside distractions.”
To watch Chizik's full press conference, follow the link.