FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – With an off week in front of the Arkansas football team its focus could be directed to No. 2 Auburn on Tuesday as a showdown with the Tigers is slated for Oct. 7 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The Razorbacks returned to the practice field for the first time since a 24-23 double-overtime win against No. 22 Alabama last Saturday. The Hogs spent just under two hours on the grass practice fields south of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in full pads putting the beginning phases of the Auburn game plan in place.
“We had a good day today,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “We got back to work and started on Auburn, looking at their sets. They are a very fast, fast team. Our scout team has been doing a great job … It is a good first day and we will come back and do the same thing tomorrow (Wednesday).
The bye week will not only provide the Razorbacks a chance to get an early look at Auburn, but gives the coaching staff a opportunity to work with some of the young players that have switched positions in the preceding of weeks.
Matt Hewitt is one of those players that should benefit from the bye week. He started his first game at strong-side linebacker against Alabama after making the move from free safety the week before and recorded nine tackles. Freshmen linebackers Adrian Davis and Wendel Davis will also get a chance to absorb more of the defense.
Another benefit of the off week is a chance to get a lot of player healthy. Several Arkansas regulars are nursing minor injuries and will have a chance to be 100 percent heading to Auburn.
“This year we desperately needed it (the bye week),” Nutt said. “We are so beat up, as I mentioned Sunday. These guys needed some rest; guys like Antwain Robinson and Sam Olajubutu are beat up and need a little time away from it.”
Arkansas returns to the practice field on Wednesday to continue preparations for Auburn.