Arkansas Ready for Kentucky with Improved Tail
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Razorbacks concluded preparations for their conference match-up with Kentucky by practicing for an hour on Thursday. When UA goes up against the Wildcats on Saturday the Hogs will have the advantage of improved tailbacks Cedric Cobbs and De’Arrius Howard. Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt was encouraged by their efforts in practice and is planning on seeing them play, but noted that DeCori Birmingham will get the starting nod.
“The tailbacks are getting better each day and looked a lot better again today,” Nutt said. “They still have more time to keep getting treatment and hopefully De’Arrius and Cedric will be close to full speed Saturday night. They did a good job today. I think they’re going to try to play. Now how long or how many plays, I don’t know that. They have a mindset that they’re going to be on the field. That’s positive, because you want all your troops out there.”
Arkansas concentrated on punt and kickoff return coverage during the second half of practice in order to prepare for Kentucky wide receiver Derek Abney. Abney recently tied the NCAA record of eight total kick return touchdowns and broke the SEC record of five punt return touchdowns with an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown against Mississippi State. He also ranks second in the nation in all-purpose yards, averaging 165.9 yards per game.
“Derek Abney is a good one,” Nutt said. “We’ve got to do a great job and be real disciplined in our lanes. It’s got to be our best coverage day. He’s returned punts against just about everybody. You have to do a great job.”
Arkansas and Kentucky will hit the field in Lexington, Ky., on November 1. ESPN2 is televising the game with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m. CST.
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