FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas football participated in a two-hour practice in full pads on the practice fields south of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Wednesday. With the Auburn game a mere two days away, the Hogs are perfecting their game plan to face the No. 2/3 Tigers.
“It was a real work day today,” head coach Houston Nutt said. “The players came with a work helmet on today. They went to work and had a real good practice today. We really emphasized concentration today. We went inside to get (the full effect of the) noise level. The offense has to concentrate 100% with togetherness. As you know, when you go on the road in the SEC, there has to be another level of intensity. We had a good day overall today.”
Nutt has stressed intensity on the road throughout the season and is very encouraged by the intensity he has seen out of his team this week. The team responded well with a 21-19 win at Vanderbilt. They will get another road test this weekend when they travel to No. 2/3 Auburn in Auburn, Ala.
Solid, errorless play from the returning veterans are key for a successful trip to Auburn. With the injuries to the defense and the loss of players like Freddie Fairchild, Ryan Powers and Chip Gregory, will linebacker Sam Olajubutu becomes even more of an asset.
“(We need Sam Olajubutu) every game,” Nutt said. “I don’t want to go anywhere (without him). If he’s not on the bus, I’m not getting on the bus. We have to have him. He’s always been a leader; he’s the heart and soul of our defense. He comes to play everyday.”
Even though the Hogs rely on standouts Felix Jones and Darren McFadden in the backfield, Nutt is stressing a total team effort this weekend.
“We need that entire backfield,” Nutt said. “We need everybody to bring their “A” game. Offensive line, receivers, quarterbacks, we need everybody. It takes 11 to beat a team like this. There is a reason why Auburn is ranked No. 2 in the country. There is a reason why LSU only scored three points against them. It’s because of their athleticism, how quick they are, they don’t stay blocked very long. We have to do a great job, all 11 of us.”