Arkansas Puts Emphasis On Special Teams During
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Razorbacks practiced for a solid two hours Wednesday afternoon in the warm, fall sunshine on the practice fields behind Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Head coach Houston Nutt said the defense looked good during the workout, but the offense needed more work before Saturday’s game.
“Defensively we really ran around good, recognizing the different formations and the different looks they’ll give us. I love the effort,” Nutt said. “Offensively we didn’t have the day that we needed. We’ve got to come out and perform much better tomorrow and have a better mental day.”
Nutt noted the work of the special teams.
“The punt teams looked good and the kickoff teams looked good,” Nutt said. “We just have to put it all together tomorrow.”
The Razorbacks have placed added emphasis on special teams work this week as North Texas presents a variety of fake punt schemes. Nutt said the Mean Green have lined up in as many as 40 different punt formations which presents the opportunity for a fake.
“Tulsa and Texas each successfully completed fake punts on us,” Nutt said. “We’ve got to be ready to go. You can expect a fake from them, you can count on it right now. When we go to punt safe we are protecting a three-yard area. We’ve got to be in position and make the tackle.”
Nutt also said that the Mean Green defense is a potential threat.
“Defensively they show you a lot of different looks and they have a lot of movement,” Nutt said. “They have an excellent defense that can really run around.”
Nutt also addressed injuries heading into this weekend’s game.
“Lawrence (Richardson) tried to do a little bit more today,” Nutt said. “We hope to have he and Richard (Smith) pretty close to full speed by Saturday night. Ryan (Sorahan) hasn’t missed a beat. He’ll be fine.”
Wednesday also marked the launch of the Shawn “Hurricane” Andrews official website, www.shawnandrews.net. The website has information on the All-American junior offensive tackle including his bio, action pictures and updates on his stats throughout the season.
“He is mature enough to handle it,” Nutt said. “He’s always been one of our best practice players when he’s out here. He deserves it, as long as he continues to be a team player.”
Arkansas will conclude its preparation for the Mean Green Thursday afternoon. They will take on North Texas Saturday in Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium at 6 p.m. The game will not be televised.
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