FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – As its bye week comes to an end, Arkansas Razorback football spent just under two hours practicing inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Thursday.
As has been the pattern this week, the upperclassmen ended practice before the younger players. Head coach Bobby Petrino and his staff kept some of the underclassmen out on the field longer to get more opportunities for reps.
"I think (the bye week) has been good for us," offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said. "We got a lot of work in this week. We’ve had long practices and done a lot of just calling it up, which is good because that way you’re not just going over the scripts. You find out what the guys really know and don’t know, and it is good learning for everyone. We’ve had a bunch of reps with the regular guys and then we’ve stayed out on the field for some extra time and had a bunch of reps with the guys for the future."
With Casey Dick still sidelined while recovering from an injury he suffered against South Carolina, the Razorback crew of signal callers, including the younger Dick brother, Nathan, have improved this week due to the increased amount of reps they are receiving.
"Nathan (Dick) has done a pretty good job," Petrino said. "It has been a really good week of practice for him. He got a ton of reps and I think he’s improved a lot the last two days. That’s what has been great about him getting the reps; we do feel comfortable with him. If that’s the scenario, we’ll be a hundred percent behind him."
Ryan Mallett has also benefited from extra reps this week and has impressed the Razorback coaching staff.
"(Ryan) Mallett stands out quite a bit," Petrino said. "He looks really good. (Mallett) just has an air about himself when he steps into the huddle and the way he handles himself. He’s a natural leader that people are going to follow, and it’s been really good for him these last couple of days to get a bunch of reps."
Like Mallett, true freshman offensive tackle Matt Hall will also be an important part of the future of Razorback football. Hall took advantage of the extra snaps he was given while working with the offensive line this week and is another Hog who shined during the bye week.
"Matt Hall has got a lot of work this week," Petrino said. "We want to save that redshirt but he’s had to prepare to play. He’s been one injury away from playing in about three games."
Arkansas will return to the playing field for its game against Mississippi State, Sat., Nov. 22 in Starkville, Miss. For more information on Arkansas Athletics, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.