FAYETTEVILLE – The Razorback football team returned to the practice fields behind Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Tuesday afternoon as it began its on-field preparations for the12th-ranked Florida Gators.
Arkansas and Florida square off in and 11:30 a.m. contest televised by Raycom Sports on Saturday at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
Tuesday’s practice had the Razorbacks returning to the basics as they erase the memories of last weekend and looks toward their next opponent, another top 15 team, Florida. After three periods of warm up and drills, Arkansas went immediately to Saturday’s game plan which had Offensive Coordinator Paul Petrino pleased with what he saw.
“Well, they actually came out and practiced hard today. There was a lot of energy,” Petrino said. “I don’t think it’s been the effort. I just think we’ve got to keep grinding, keep working hard and just keep believing in what we believe in.
“I think that’s the biggest thing. We talked to them today about coming out here with a great attitude and great energy and I thought they responded and did a great job of it.”
Arkansas is certainly going to need a lot of energy to compete with the high octane offense of the Gators and know that Florida is going to come out and try and fill the gaps that their loss to Ole Miss a week ago may have exposed.
“I don’t think that (Ole Miss) exposed them,” Petrino said. “They got a couple of good turnovers that gave them great field position. They hit a go route down the sideline on a blown coverage and had a nice screen play and they hit a run opposite the blitz. Their defense must have played really good because they had good field position. They didn’t put up a lot of yards, but they got a bunch of points.”
Arkansas’ offense has come under fire by the media lately, but Petrino knows that continued hard work is the cure.
“On offense it’s all 11 guys all the time,” Petrino said. “Sometimes certain people take the blame, but it’s all of us. We have to keep believing in what we are doing. I think that is the biggest thing. It’s a good package and the kids are working hard at it to make sure that we get it down. There is no magic answer, the only answer is to keep working hard and pounding at it and try to get better every day.”
If there is one thing that Florida is expected to do its rush and pressure the Arkansas offense on every play.
“They are going to blitz you,” Petrino said. “They’ll play a lot of man free and then they’ll zone blitz you. When they do blitz they’ll mix it up between blitz two and blitz three. On the one that they got beat long the safety didn’t do his job and get off the hash so he got beat.”
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