FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Two weeks of spring ball and a full-scale scrimmage last weekend appeared to have taken its toll as the Razorbacks were sluggish in a two-hour football workout on Monday.
Despite the circumstances, Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt was in no mood for sympathy. Nutt reminded his squad that with only four more spring opportunities remaining, time is running short for the Razorbacks to take meaningful steps in preparation for the 2006 season.
“We came out here today to try and get better and there were some guys feeling sorry for themselves,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “You have a few bumps and a few bruises. Coming off a scrimmage, this is the toughest time to come right back. Everybody is gearing up for Saturday. Well, we still feel like we have some practice time left. We still have time to get better. We had too many balls on the ground offensively. We had too many dropped balls. To me, it is a little bit of lack of concentration and a little bit of feeling sorry for yourself. We can’t have that to have the team we want to have.”
After shining in the first scrimmage of the spring, the offense struggled last weekend against the Razorback defense. Wide receivers have especially been in the spotlight as the Hogs attempt to bolster a passing attack that has been inconsistent in recent years. Nutt says while they have made some positive strides in that direction, more players need to step up to the challenge.
“It is about consistency,” Nutt said. “We need wide receivers to step up and make plays. Marcus (Monk) is a guy we feel like we can count on. We just need a few others to step up consistently. Peyton Hillis has really helped us. We are looking at a few of our other guys. The ones that catch the ball and the ones that make plays, those are the guys we are going to put on the field.”
One reason the Razorbacks have been able to scrimmage more this spring is the availability of offensive linemen. Last spring, Arkansas struggled to put five healthy linemen on the field. This time around, a bevy of offensive front men have gotten a chance to get valuable practice snaps.
“Mitch Petrus, Chase Pressley, Michael Aguirre and Andrew Davie, that second group has made a big improvement,” Nutt said. “That is one reason why we are having such a great spring because you have depth in the offensive line. It has been a blessing to have that many guys. Then you have a good young group behind them. It has been good.”
Arkansas will hold full-scale practices on Tuesday and Thursday before conducting a light walk-through on Friday. The Razorbacks will conclude the spring with the Red-White spring game on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Nutt said the first-team offense and defense will comprise the red team while the Razorback reserves will make up the white squad. The white team will be given an automatic seven points
each quarter and the remainder of the scrimmage will be game-like with the exception of no-live tackling on punt and kickoff returns.
Gates at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium will open at 10 a.m. for the EAS RazorFest and the spring game. The spring game will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by ESPNU at 5 p.m. CT on Saturday. There is no charge for the spring game or EAS RazorFest.