Razorbacks Prep for Season Opener at Friday?s Practice

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas Razorbacks ended the week with a practice chock-full of game-like situations and team drills on Friday.

With a start time of 4:10 p.m., practice lasted for 12 five-minute periods in hot and humid temperatures. With the season-opener against No. 6 Southern California only eight days away, head coach Houston Nutt threw as many game-like situations at his squad as possible.

“We had a very mental practice today,” Nutt said. “I thought we did very good. We worked on two-minute drill very hard. We worked on substitution for situations, last play of the game, field goals at the end of the first half, field goals at the end of the game. We are just trying to teach everybody to know when to get out of bounds, how to stop the clock, something simple. We are trying to cover everything, every situation that could probably happen. We still have a few more days to cover it again.”

Another reminder that the season opener is just days away was the construction of the additional seating at the south end of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The construction lasted through out practice and is being brought in specifically for the USC game.

With the USC game depth chart released on Thursday, many Razorbacks took advantage of Friday’s practice to prove their spot on the two-deep or to make an argument as to why they should be listed. Stephen Arnold is one who solidified his place on the depth chart with his efforts on Friday.

“He did good today,” Nutt said. “His last few field goals, he made every one. He did a really good job.”

Nutt also applauded Andrew Davie, who recently made the change from offensive tackle to tight end. Davie is listed second behind Wes Murphy for the starting job at tight end.

“He’s an older guy with a lot of maturity,” Nutt said. “He paid his dues last year on the scout team and really stuck with it. I worry sometimes about guys who have played baseball in the minor leagues, if they are going to stay with (football). He came back and has helped us a great deal at tight end.”

Being second behind Murphy still gives Davie a promising chance of making it out on to the field.

“Unless there is an injury, (Davie) is going to get on the field and that’s a big body,” Nutt said. “It makes sense to put him there. He has good hands and he can run a little bit better then you think for a big guy.”

Injury is something Nutt has dealt with through out fall camp. Luckily, with the amount of freshmen that he played last year, he has an experienced group of returning sophomores that may be able to prevent him from playing as many freshmen as he did last year.

“That’s one of the reasons you may not see as many freshmen playing because of last year,” Nutt said. “Any time you get on the field as a freshman and you are a year older, it helps, especially when you have done some good things. We have some very good freshmen. We had some bad lucky with injury early but hopefully Ryan Powers will get back strong. He’s looking pretty good. Hopefully, we will also get London Crawford back soon.”