Arkansas Mentally Prepares for Tulsa
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas wrapped up their final practice before the first game of the 2003 season Thursday evening. The Razorbacks practiced for only an hour in shoulder pads and shorts, but focused primarily on special teams.
“The guys came out with a good focus today and had a good Thursday,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “Thursday is always a mental day. The guys really concentrated hard on every special team. That’s what you’ve got to have. Most of those first game jitters come from the special teams area. Now we’ve got to do it for good.”
Two true freshmen will be seeing the college playing field for the first time when they go up against Tulsa on Saturday night. Jacob Skinner is handling punting responsibilities, while Brett Goode will see action as the deep snapper. Nutt is confident in both their abilities to perform under pressure. Nutt also addressed Matt Jones’ sore finger as they tried to rest it during today’s practice.
“Brett Good and Jacob Skinner are it,” Nutt said. “They have to do it under the lights now and with a live rush coming at them for real. Matt’s finger has been swollen and sore. We basically kept him at receiver today, but he did get one good series in at quarterback.”
Nutt realizes the storied series between Tulsa and Arkansas and hopes his players know what to expect as well.
“They’re going to come over and give their best effort,” Nutt said. “You always have instant recall of the games they had here for so many years. I know what to expect, but it’s important that we get it across to our team what to expect and not to look at a scoreboard from last week. That won’t have anything to do with this game. You’ve got to be ready to play after that horn goes off.”
Kickoff against the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes is scheduled for 6 p.m., on September 6, at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Ark.
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