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Defensive Confidence Gets Boost, Arkansas Finds Replacement at Safety

Myles Slusher gets his first career interception, and the Arkansas defense gets a much-needed confidence boost.

Confidence is paramount. Seizing every opportunity to gain confidence throughout a football season is vital to team success. The Razorbacks did just that Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.

The Hogs 45-3 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, where Treylon Burks was clearly the best player on the field, provided a much-needed confidence boost as the team heads into their bye week.

Not that Burks needed the lift, he’s been Arkansas’ best player all season. However, the defense, who surrendered 42 points per game the past three weeks, needed every ounce.

The Razorbacks (5-3, 1-3 SEC) prevented the Golden Lions from scoring a touchdown, and had it not been for a few chunk plays and penalties; the Hogs would have shut them out. Myles Slusher intercepted the first pass of his career and looked more confident manning the back-end of the defensive unit.

Nathan Parodi-Montaric Brown

Montaric Brown congratulates Nathan Parodi after 80-yard punt return for score.

Last week, Slusher started the first game of his career following the news that AP Preseason All-American safety Jalen Catalon would miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.

The success of the Razorback defense down the stretch will rely heavily on Slusher’s continued development and improvement.

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“You know, talking to Myles last week, he said he was a nervous, nervous as he could be against Auburn,” Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said after defeating UAPB. “I think the more game time [Slusher and Chavis] get, the better they’re gonna be.”

Slusher’s interception came early in the second quarter when Pine Bluff had driven the ball down inside the Razorback 3-yard line.

UAPB quarterback Skyler Perry rolled to the left and fired a pass to the back of the end zone that Slusher leaped and snagged out of the air.

Following the Slusher interception, the Razorback offense orchestrated a 7-play, 95-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown.

Slusher was the first National Signing Day surprise of the Sam Pittman era. Hog fans remember when the decorated four-star safety flipped from his long-time commitment to Oregon and signed with Arkansas.

The Razorbacks will need Slusher to build on Saturday’s performance when they face the Mississippi State air raid offense after the bye week. The game will kick off in Fayetteville on November 6th. 

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