FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas football team wrapped up its shoulder pads and helmet preparation for seventh-ranked Texas on Thursday with an hour long work out at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Hitting all facets of the game from offense to defense to special teams, the Razorbacks were efficient in their plan and concluded a tough week of work with a superb practice session.
“I was proud of the way that our team came in and practiced this week,” Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino said. “We focused hard on technique and fundamentals, we focused hard on execution. One thing that has been hurting us is that we are not consistent because we have one guy break down on this play and one guy on the next play so we are really working hard on all 11 guys playing together, one play at a time. We’ve put a lot of effort into it and the guys are studying video and I think that we are ready to play. We just have to go out and play smart, play fast and really put everything out on the field.”
One thing that the Razorbacks have yet to do is get off to a fast start and make their opponents play from behind. That has been a focus all week for Petrino and his staff.
“We’ve been talking about that for a month now,” Petrino said of starting quickly. “We need to make it happen. We need to execute and understand what we are doing and do it right.”
One thing that Arkansas has had happen throughout its first three games is missed assignments by players. When asked how often it happens and how often more than one person misses an assignment on a given play Petrino responded with a positive assessment of his player’s ability.
“That happens sometimes,” Petrino said. “But a lot of the time you have 10 guys do their job and one guy doesn’t and you have a breakdown. That’s when you are not consistent and don’t execute at the pace that you want to execute. There are times that more than one guy breaks down but that really didn’t happen very often and that is why we moved the ball in the first half (against Alabama). It’s a process of learning to play together, understanding the offense and the defense and then playing at a high tempo.”
Defensive coordinator Willy Robinson spoke highly of the effort that the team has put in this week, echoing the comments of offensive coordinator Paul Petrino on Tuesday. Arkansas’ head coach had even better things to say about the effort of the team and its defense.
“I think that the whole team is that way,” Petrino said of the increased effort. “We need to continue to work hard. We did practice with a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of focus. The defense really emphasized all 11 guys running to the football. I thought that coaches did a nice job of that and I thought that the players really responded. They took a lot of pride in the day before; they watched practice and made sure that they were one of the guys sprinting to the football.”
The Razorbacks have a walk through scheduled for Friday before they travel to Austin to face the Longhorns in Austin. For more information regarding Razorback football or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.