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Bill’s Bowl Blog: Time for Bowling

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Bill’s Bowl Blog: Time for Bowling

9:05 p.m. — Closing out blog for today to get ready for an early morning (7 a.m.) at the annual Liberty Bowl FCA breakfast. If you’d like to also see the photos from today from our primary photographer, Wesley Hitt, his Monday photo album is here.

8:10 p.m. — Ryan Mallett and Adrian Davis compete for Arkansas in a shooting contest between the first and second quarters. Mallett and Davis drub their ECU counterparts, 18-6. Thought about checking with Trainor to confirm that winning the basketball shooting contest at the NBA game was a positive indicator for the bowl — I suspect the answer would be yes.

7:45 p.m. — Son of famous Razorback alum Mike Conley is leading the Grizzlies with 10 points early in the game.

6:40 p.m. — Team walks down Beale Street to FedEx Forum for the NBA game.

6:10 p.m. — American Idol sing-off between the team a no-contest for the Razorbacks. Check out the video and you’ll agree.

5:57 p.m. — Kevin Trainor quickly notes the team that wins the XBox never seems to win the bowl. We’ll go with that.

5:55 p.m. — Fish gets down 10-0, but rallies to 10-6 in the early fourth quarter, then gets the two-point conversion (a pass into the flat to the avatar that happens to have D.J. Williams’ number). Pressing for the win and running out of time, Fish goes for the onside and fails. ECU drive in for a 20-8 win.

5:50 p.m. — Scoreless first quarter on XBox, but Reggie falls behind at halftime, 7-0.

5:45 p.m. — Reggie Fish representing Arkansas on the XBox showdown with ECU. His teammates mentioned yesterday that he was the best.

5:30 p.m. — Great meal set up for the teams, and several Razorback fans take advantage to come by and visit players.

5:00 p.m. — Meeting up in the Peabody lobby to head over to the team welcome party.

3:00 p.m. — Video from the media events today is posted. We’ll keep links to the week’s events on this page.

1:25 p.m. — Petrino wraps up his press event and its back to the Peabody to load video and get ready for tonight’s team reception at Primetime and the NBA game. More info between blog posts @ArkRazorbacks.

12:50 p.m. — Coach Petrino takes the stage and talks about changing the pace of practice this week. He also notes that opening practices at Rhodes College is part of trying to make "Memphis a part of Arkansas". He was encouraged by the fan support and the ticket sales. "I’m excited about our fans . . . people are telling me that may have 50,000 fans."

A big reason why he is fired up about having a Liberty Bowl full of Cardinal fans is his impression of the Razorback faithful. "They’re educated fans," Petrino said. They know to get loud on third down for the opponents and when Arkansas is on third down "they get quiet as church."

12:30 p.m. — A lot of the morning transcription here is rehash of notes taken and posted through the @ArkRazorbacks twitter feed. If you want more blow by blow of the pressers, use that feed.

12:15 p.m. — Skip Holtz is already underway at the Embassy Suites. Tells stories about growing up in Fayetteville. When asked if he knows any magic tricks by one of the Arkansas media, he’s quick to point out that knows some, but doesn’t do them — he’s not trying to be his dad, Lou Holtz, but become the best Skip Holtz he can. We’ll have video of the majority of his comments up soon.

A couple of highlights that we used on the Twitter feed: When asked about the ticket sales for the Razorbacks, Holtz replied

"Arkansas is going to pack the stands" but "I like playing on the road"; "as long as they don’t let them out of the stands and let them line up on the other side with their 11 players" ECU is OK.

He was asked about anything his father may have said to him (FYI — for those who have been living under a rock or VERY new Razorback fans, Lou Holtz was head coach for the Hogs years ago), Skip recalled how his dad asked what bowl he was headed toward after beating Houston and he replied Liberty. "Oh, you might want to get in another bowl or get another job before the bowl." It’s a story/line that he repeated later for the media after leaving the podium.

11:30 a.m. — Off to southwest Memphis near Germantown for the head coaches event.

11:25 a.m. — Mallett hangs around after his media conference to shoot hoops. He’s taking very long three-pointers (as you might expect). Let’s say NBA isn’t in his future, however, he can dunk with both ease and force.

11:20 a.m. — Change of pace as offensive line coach Mike Summers to take the podium instead. We saw McGee and Ryan Mallett shooting baskets earlier.

11:15 a.m. — Learn that D.D. Jones will not play the bowl game due to a high ankle sprain he sustained back in Fayetteville before the holiday break — did not happen today at practice.

11:10 a.m. — Things appear to be running ahead of schedule as we see players moving off the field. We expect Garrick McGee and players today as Coach Petrino will be at the Liberty Bowl press conference later across town at the Embassy Suites.

10:30 a.m. — Helping to set up for our first post-practice media conference in the Rhodes "HPER" building. Folks from Fayetteville understand the reference.

10:00 a.m. — Answering our first email question in to the bowl blog, yes, practices at Rhodes College are open this week. Part of the reason is for folks in the Memphis area to be able to come out and see the Hogs. However, you must stay up in the stands and remember that Rhodes is a private school and the gates at the entrances are manned.

9:30 a.m. — It is chilly in Memphis. Very. 31 degrees and a light breeze as the Razorbacks take the field here at Rhodes. The first 15 minutes of practice are available for video, and we will have highlights later.

8:00 a.m. — Good morning from Memphis. The team was up at 6:30 prepping for their first Memphis-based practice and the first practice back from the holiday break. Practice begins today at 10 a.m. at Rhodes College, followed bya Razorback media event at around noon. The Liberty Bowl also has a media event today across town with both teams at 1 p.m.

This evening, the teams get together at Primetime in the Peabody Place before heading over to FedEx Forum for the Grizzlies-Wizards game. We will have full video from both media events today later in the afternoon, then tonight a recap of the happenings at the bowl event.

Packing up the video gear and heading out the door from the team hotel here at the Peabody.



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