Arkansas’ Smith embraces championship hopes



FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas coach John L. Smith says the Razorbacks won’t shy away from national championship expectations entering this season.

The former Michigan State and Louisville coach was hired in April following the firing of former coach Bobby Petrino. He inherited an Arkansas team that was 11-2 last season, with its only losses coming to national champion Alabama and runner-up LSU.

The Razorbacks led the Southeastern Conference in total offense and scoring last season, but they were ninth in total defense and lost to the Crimson Tide and Tigers by a combined 79-31.

Former Ohio State assistant coach Paul Haynes was hired as the defensive coordinator after the LSU loss last season and promises to bring a new identity to the Arkansas defense this season.