ORLANDO – No. 12 Arkansas practiced for two hours Wednesday morning in full pads at the Freedom High School football field as preparations continue for the Capital One Bowl against No. 6 Wisconsin on Jan. 1 at the Citrus Bowl.
“We had to wake them up a little bit this morning,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “But once we did we got some things accomplished. (We practiced) in full pads at full speed just trying to cover every base.”
Middle linebacker Weston Dacus and tight end Mason Templeton both missed practice again on Wednesday but are expected to return on Thursday. Fullback Peyton Hillis, who was able to practice on Tuesday, was once again shelved on Wednesday and it appears unlikely he will be able to play against the Badgers.
“Weston Dacus has still been sick,” Nutt said. “Hopefully we will get him back tomorrow. Mason Templeton has a bruised kidney and he should be back tomorrow. It doesn’t look good for Peyton. He didn’t make it today.”
The practice field conditions were much better on Wednesday as the winds helped dry out the field after a rain soaked field cut Tuesday’s practice shot.
“This was a good long practice today – 24 periods,” Nutt said. “The wind kind of helped us dry some things out.”
The Razorbacks are enjoying their return to a bowl game this season after missing out the past two years. The busy week includes practice each day along with bowl events that include the Disney Day for Kids at the Wide World of Sports complex, Texas de Brazil welcome dinner, Disney Magic Kingdom, Disney MGM Studios and Sea World.
“It is so good to be back especially for these extra practices that are so valuable,” Nutt said. “You are so far ahead of the game going into practice.”
One of the main focuses during the early practices in Orlando has been putting the LSU and Florida games behind them and getting down to the task of beating No. 6 Wisconsin.
“You do have concern about it because you want to win,” Nutt said. “You are doing everything you can in preparation to get that done against a quality opponent. You do everything you know how to get them ready to play.”
The Hogs take off the full pads for Thursday morning’s workout. Arkansas will then hold short practices in shorts and helmets on Friday and Saturday before a closed walkthrough on Sunday.