FAYETTEVILLE – The Razorback football team concluded its final two-a-day practice on Tuesday afternoon with a short practice that lasted 1 ½ hours and took place both on the practice fields behind Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium and inside Walker Pavilion.
The session focused on special teams and situational plays and was meant to be a tune up for Arkansas season opener against Western Illinois on Aug. 30.
“We came out this afternoon and worked a lot on special teams,” Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino said. “We got maybe 40 minutes work on special teams and then some situations, coming out from the minus 1, how to end the game in what we call ‘kill the clock’ offense and get the ball back on defense and then two minutes. Then we did some walk through stuff for our opener so it was a pretty short practice, last two-a-day so I’m sure that the players are fired up about that.”
Beginning with kickoffs and moving on to punting and placekicking, the Razorbacks got good looks at their special teams units and what they can do.
“We got a lot of really good work on special teams,” Petrino said. “A lot of detail work and then hit some things that you have to spend time on that you don’t really have time to do like sky kicks, onside, hands team, all the things you have to have ready for that first game.”
When asked about his kick returners, Petrino pointed out that there are several players who could field the opening kick on Aug. 30.
“We’ve been working Jarius Wright back there, Joe Adams, Dennis Johnson,” Petrino said.”We’ve moved London Crawford back there and he’s doing a real good job. Elton Ford, a lot of freshman names I’ve been saying and that’s a little scary but London I think is doing a real good job on kickoff returns and I think we’ll space some of those young guys with him.”
Petrino also spoke about his safeties that have been rotating in and out of the defense for the entire two weeks of preseason.
“We’ve really got four guys working in the secondary at the safety position,” Petrino explained. “We are trying to make sure that we know both positions. Elton Ford and Matt Harris have been working a lot at free safety and Matt also runs over at strong safety, (Dallas) Washington is there at strong safety and is doing a good job. He knows what to do at the Jack linebacker position that we have now and Rashaad Johnson plays both so it’s really a four man rotation and we feel that all four will play and as for who will start now I don’t know, but all four will rotate in and need to stay fresh.”
The Razorbacks are back on the field on Wednesday with a 9:00 a.m. practice scheduled for the fields behind Razorback Stadium. For more information regarding Razorback football or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.