With a dismal four-game losing streak behind them there was every indication heading into the Kentucky game that Hog defenders would pin their ears back and go after Wildcats freshman quarterback Jalen Whitlow much as they had against Auburn's Kiehl Frazier and Clint Moseley.
Three plays into the game's opening series of downs Arkansas' Ross Rasner dropped Whitlow for a five yard loss on a safety blitz and that was pretty much it for dialed up pressure.
"No, we didn't," Haynes said after the game when asked if he had employed any special packages to rattle Whitlow.
"Early we did, Haynes qualified, "like we did last week. But later we just kind of settled down a bit with what we were calling. Just trying to be sound."
Instead of sacks and turnovers Arkansas coupled assignment football with gang tackling to force the Wildcats into six three-and-out possessions. On those six possessions Kentucky was limited to a paltry 20 total yards for an average of just 3.3 yards per possession.
It's hard to argue with those numbers no matter what the defensive game plan turns out to be.
Haynes said the key to that kind of domination was something he'd been preaching since the first day of August Camp.
"We challenge them every week to stop the run and they did that." Haynes proclaimed to reporters. "Get the offense into certain situations."
Forced to throw the ball in mostly obvious "situations" Kentucky was just 4-15 passing for 104 yards, 61 of which came on one play, a 3rd quarter touchdown pass from Whitlow to La'Rod King. According to Haynes linebacker A.J. Turner lined up wrong on the play. It was one of the few mistakes made by the true freshman from Lepanto, Arkansas who was pressed into service after a season-ending injury to senior Alonzo Highsmith in the Auburn game.
Turner recorded five solo tackles including a de-cleater that caught Rasner's eye.
"I was setting the edge," Rasner recalled. "I saw it was A.J. after the play but he just completely levelled their running back and I was like, 'I've never seen A. J. hit like that. It's good to see a true freshman stick his nose in there like that.' "
Interim Head coach John L. Smith noted that the improvement of so many young players over the past two weeks has been a joy to watch.
His arms uplifted in the post game presser while flashing a broad smile Smith told reporters, "They've grown by leaps and bounds. It's fun to watch. It's really fun as a coach to see young guys climb that ladder and get better and better."
Senior Linebacker Terrell Williams has been credited with providing leadership to the younger defensive players. Williams said the turnaround since a lopsided loss to Texas A&M has mostly to do with the rookies living up to their individual responsibilities.
"Coach Haynes has been telling us, as long as we (each) do our one-eleventh we can be one of the best defenses in the nation," Williams revealed. "Everybody is focusing more on their jobs. If everybody takes care of their jobs the whole defense works like it needs to."
Back-to-back wins sends the Razorbacks into a bye week with a chance for players like Turner to improve even more especially through sessions in the film room.
"When you execute, when you tackle, when you do the things we stress and you see it on flim it always helps," Haynes affirmed.
Arkansas defense is improving, statistically up from 14th to 12th in the SEC in points allowed but, "We have to take this week, the bye week and continue to grow, Smith emphasized. "Continue to get better."