Alabama’s Nick Saban praises Arkansas, updates status of Kicker Jeremy Shelley

The weekly SEC Coaches’ teleconference provided a few nuggets on the Alabama and Arkansas football game including an update on the health of Alabama kicker Jeremy Shelley.

Kicker Jeremy Shelley “had a stiff back” last week including the game against North Texas, according to Alabama football coach Nick Saban. Shelley missed two field goals and made two field goals during the win over North Texas. Saban said Shelley has been better this week in practice.

Saban also praised Arkansas’ offense.

“Arkansas has had plenty of success against us,” Saban said.

The success comes from several factors, but Saban praised the offensive concept and pro-style offense run by Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino.

“They have a really good offensive concept, a little bit more pro-style,” Saban said.

When asked how the Arkansas offense has performed against the Alabama defense, Saban lavished more praise on the Razorbacks.

“I personally feel like they have done the best job against us,” Saban said. “In terms of how they have been able to move the ball against us… We have a tremendous amount of respect for them.”

Saban said the Arkansas offense “hasn’t missed a beat” under the direction of quarterback Tyler Wilson. Wilson took over for Ryan Mallett who is now in the NFL.

Arkansas coaches expect a different kind of game than the first three tests of the season.

Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino said the Alabama game will be a “much faster and more physical game” than the first three games of this season.

Petrino believes his team has more talent on defense this year compared to last year.

“The most talented we have been (on defense) since I’ve been here,” Petrino said.

As for Alabama’s defense, Petrino is impressed with it even if there are not very many sacks produced. Petrino said sacks are often something the defense cannot control based on tempo of the offensive passing game. However, Petrino believes Alabama is good at getting pressure on the quarterback.

“They are very good rushing the passer,” Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino said. “They have a couple guys on the edge that are very good. They do a very good job pressuring you.”

Petrino went on to say the goal is to affect the quarterback and Alabama does this.

Will post audio from both Saban and Petrino later today. Also, a preview/prediction story. Check back later.