FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas’ light-contact scrimmage was cut short by impending stormy weather on Saturday, but Razorback head coach Houston Nutt saw enough to know his team didn’t give him a full effort. Nutt had little positive to say after the 66-play scrimmage in front of an estimated 5,500 fans at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Nutt was forced to abbreviate the scrimmage with rain and lightning looming in the area. The Razorback head coach was hopeful that the scrimmage would give players more repetitions without chancing further injuries with tackling. Players were instructed to play in “thud” mode where they make an initial hit, but not tackle players to the ground. Nutt said even with the different format, there was no excuse for the effort and intensity he witnessed on Saturday night.
“I was disappointed,” Nutt said. “First of all, I didn’t think we had the intensity we needed. I didn’t feel good about it. We’ve got to do better than that. It wasn’t a good day. It was everybody. You can’t practice like that. Even if it is a thud, don’t give me the excuse that we aren’t tackling. That is the wrong way to approach a practice. We are going to get that right.”
Nutt addressed the media moments before meeting with his team after the scrimmage. He said he had a message for his squad after the lackluster scrimmage.
“The message is that you never take one day for granted,” Nutt said. “You’re fortunate. It is a privilege to be a Razorback. It is not a right it is a privilege. You’ve got the finest facilities in the world. (You need to) play football hard. You’ve got people (the fans) coming out and spending their valuable time it a hot and humid place. You have the best grass field in America and you come out and don’t respect your home.”
Saturday night’s scrimmage marked the official end to pre-season camp. School starts on the UA campus on Monday and the Hogs are slated to practice on Monday night. The Hogs open the season on Sept. 2 against USC at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.