Improved health key for Razorbacks

FAYETTEVILLE – The Razorback football team ended a good week of practice with another solid session inside Walker Pavilion on Thursday as Arkansas prepares to face the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Fayetteville.

Typical with most seasons, Arkansas has seen some key players go down with injuries over the last several weeks, but got a good portion of them back on the practice field on Thursday.

“We had a good practice today,” Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino said. “Michael Smith came out, worked hard, probably took about 65% of the reps, ran the ball, caught the ball and did some pass protection. We’ll just have to see what the next 24 hours brings but I’m very encouraged by that.

“Ernest Mitchell is back to full speed, we’ll get some reps out of him during the game. He took a lot of practice this week. We’re in pretty good shape health wise. Jamar [Love] practiced yesterday and today and he’s kind of wait and see. He’ll probably dress and be ready for the game.”

Petrino was encouraged by what he saw on the practice field throughout the week and feels like his players are ready to put the first half of the season behind them.

“I think we’re mentally in good shape,” Petrino said. “We have a good game plan and the players are excited about coming out on Saturday night and playing in front of our home crowd. It should be a great atmosphere for the game and it should be a great football game.”

The Razorbacks and Rebels have identical records this season both overall (3-4) and in Southeastern Conference play (1-3), which could make for a very interesting matchup on the field. Petrino gave his thoughts on what fans might see and what it will take for the Razorbacks to come out on top.

“I think that we’re going to have to score points,” Petrino said. “I feel like it’s a situation where they can score points, they have a quarterback that throws well, they have a big offensive line, they’ve scored on everyone, maybe not consistent on everybody, but they’ve scored points on everyone so it is going to be important for us offensively to drive the ball and get touchdowns.”

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