FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas football team practiced for 90 minutes in shells on Wednesday afternoon inside the Walker Pavilion putting the final touches on the Hogs’ game plan for top-ranked Southern California on Saturday night.
“The guys really flew around and executed and that is back-to-back days we have done a really good job of that,” Arkansas Head Coach Houston Nutt said. “They have had good focus and good intensity and that is what it is going to take against a team like USC.”
The opponent awaiting the Razorbacks this weekend is about as tough of a challenge as you can face in college football this season. USC enters the game with back-to-back national championships and a 23-game winning streak.
“USC is loaded up at every position,” Nutt said. “They are a very talented and fast team. Reggie Bush is a guy that returns kicks, punts and they move him around everywhere on the offensive side of the football. He is a special, special athlete.”
Hogs’ punter Jacob Skinner has put in a lot of specialty work this week to try and minimize the threat Bush poses as a return man.
“The main thing we want Jacob (Skinner) to do is give us hang time,” Nutt said. “We are not so much worried about which direction he punts it right now as much as his hang time. He has done a good job with that and our gunners have done a good job getting down there and covering the kick.”
The Razorbacks’ defense will also face a big challenge in covering the Trojans’ big and talent wide receivers. USC boasts 6-foot-5-inch Dwayne Jarrett at split end and 6-foot burner Steve Smith at flanker.
“They are a talented, talented group on offense,” Nutt said. “When you watch them on film they are never faced with third-and-10, they always have first-and-10, so you want to slow them down a little. We have to be real disciplined in our drops and in our coverages. We have to get some pressure on the quarterback, and then we just have to cover.”
The Razorbacks will practice Thursday afternoon prior to departing for Los Angeles later that evening. The Hogs and Trojans are scheduled for a 9:15 p.m. CT kickoff on Fox Sports Net.