The Razorbacks put on their full pads for the first time during the preseason practice period and worked out for two and a half hours in the blazing August heat. The Hogs tried to fight the hot weather, but had trouble sustaining all the way through the end.
“We had a good day until right at the end,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “We’ve got to get mentally tougher. This is a tough man’s game. It’s been hot and a lot of our guys have bumps and bruises, but this is where you fight through some things. There are some fighting through it and some that haven’t. We want to continue to get better and the only way you can do that is to stay on the field and stay mentally strong.”
Arkansas’ defensive unit stole the show on Friday and earned high praises from Nutt. With their speed and pressure the Hogs came up with interceptions and a fumble recovery.
“The defense got some turnovers today and did a good job,” Nutt said. “They got two interceptions and fumble recovery. We worked on gobble situations, which basically means you gobble up the clock. We’re trying to make two first downs and the defense must take it away. The defense won today. They took the ball away from us and we can’t have that.”
Nutt emphasized that all of the quarterbacks needed to improve on taking care of the ball and that he would have a better read on the QB standings later in the week.
“It didn’t matter who it was they were turning it over,” Nutt said. “We had a quarterback-center exchange, we had an interception and we can’t have that two days in a row. Any time you turn it over it affects them (the quarterbacks), because we want them to take care of the ball. That’s what we’re emphasizing.”
Two freshmen tailbacks sat of Friday’s practice, including Darren McFadden and Michael Smith. McFadden has a minor knee sprain after he suffered the combination of a wrong plant and a hit from a helmet, while Smith has a slight knot in his hamstring.
Saturday will be UA’s first two-a-day practice. The morning practice will be held in Walker Pavilion at 9:15 a.m., where team will work out in shorts and shoulder pads for approximately an hour. In the afternoon the Razorbacks will take to the practice fields at 2:20 p.m. and work out for two hours and 10 minutes in full pads. All practices will remain closed except for the first 20 minutes.