Football returns to practice field
FAYETTEVILLE – The brief storm front that hit the Fayetteville area moved the Razorback Football team inside for its Tuesday practice, but the results were the same as the Hogs put forth another good effort on the practice field in anticipation of Saturday’s Southeastern Conference clash with Kentucky.
Practicing inside Walker Pavilion, the Razorbacks got straight to work, cutting a little short the time they spend on fundamentals and moving straight into the game plan for the Wildcats.
“It was a pretty good practice,” Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said. “We definitely got some things down that we are going to do in the game plan and I thought that was pretty good. I thought the guys had pretty good energy and if we get a little bit better each day this week we’ll be ready to go this weekend.”
The Hogs had a fantastic win last Saturday when they upset the then 20th-ranked Auburn Tigers and there was some concern that the hangover from that win would carry over into Tuesday’s session.
“I think they did [put Auburn behind them],” Petrino said. “We’ve done a pretty good job of coming out each day and improving and that is why we’ve improved that last couple of weeks. Now we just need to continue to do that from here on out.”
Kentucky enters Saturday’s game with a record of 4-2 and is 0-2 in SEC play, having dropped their last two games to Alabama and South Carolina. The Razorbacks can expect similarities between Kentucky and some of its previous opponents, but know that the Wildcats do bring new things to the table.
“They’re a little like some of the teams we’ve played,” Petrino said. “They do have their own style and like to play a lot of press man. They like to play a lot of what we call eight press which is like quarter coverage with the cornerbacks pressed outside. They have two good players inside at the defensive tackle position and the free safety can run and make plays. They have the big middle linebacker so they have some good players we just have to get ready and understand exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it and beat them to the punch and play faster than they do. If we can get to our technique faster than they do and have our pads lower than theirs then we’ll have a chance at success.”
Arkansas’ offensive line was a key to the Razorbacks’ victory on Saturday, paving the way for running back Michael Smith to rush for 176 yards and quarterback Casey Dick to throw for 220. The play of the line has improved steadily over the last several weeks and Petrino gives all the credit to offensive line coach Mike Summers.
“Mike does a great job and they continue to improve each week,” Petrino said. “If we can run the ball like we have the last couple of weeks that helps to wear the defense down which helps them not pass rush as fast which is big. They did a good job and keep things balanced by throwing and running and that helps everything.”
The Razorbacks are back on the practice field on Wednesday in preparation for Saturday’s game. For more information regarding Razorback football or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.