FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas Razorback football team practiced for two hours inside Walker Pavilion on Thursday afternoon to stay out of a storm front that moved through Northwest Arkansas. The Razorbacks are in their final week of practice before stepping on the field for their 2009 season opener against Missouri State on Sept. 5, in Little Rock, Ark. Arkansas is scheduled to have a closed scrimmage on Friday night at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium as a final walk through before the season opener. Below is a brief transcript of head coach Bobby Petrino’s post-practice press conference.
On Thursday’s practice"Today went pretty well. It was our normal Thursday practice, like before a game, a scripted practice. The players came out with excitement and focus. We didn’t do everything right, but the energy was there. Tomorrow night will be a good thing for us. Getting closer to the game, this week in practice we did about half the preparation for Missouri State and about half competition, one-vs.-one and two-vs.-two because I think that we really need to solidify what our depth is."
Changes on Defensive depth chart"We talk about personnel all the time. Basically what we are basing it off of is how you play in the scrimmages and how you practice. The effort that you play with, the assignment errors that you make or don’t make and the alignment errors that you make or don’t make and production. All those things come into account when you talk about depth, particularly on defense. You have to align right, you have to do your assignment and you have to play with great effort and then it’s about production to. There are some guys that can get aligned every play, know what their assignment is and can’t make the play so production becomes a big part of it."
Similar changes on offense"Sure, we have some guys that have shuffled around a bit. The thing about offense is that we have so many different personnel groups that I feel like we have 14 or 15 starters and not just 11 because we substitute so many guys into the game."
Specific changes that have been made"Tomorrow night is what’s big for our depth. We have a lot of guys who are really competing, who will be one, who will be two, who will redshirt, who won’t redshirt, we keep track of everything that has gone on until now. Tomorrow night is the last rehearsal to move up in the depth chart for the first game. As the year goes on we’ll evaluate after that.
On Joe Adams"Joe has a little twig in his hamstring, nothing serious. We decided to keep him in and rehab. He’ll be fine and 100% to practice next week."
Pattern for next week"This week we did about half Missouri State practice and about half what you would do in camp, compete against each and work hard on seeing who is going to adjust the depth. Next week will be completely focused on Missouri State; the routine we use is all in preparation for that game."
On Missouri State"Offensively, they run the spread offense. They are in shotgun most of the time; they do a lot of quarter back read plays. They throw the ball and have a good quick five-step passing game. They have an experienced quarterback. Defensively they have made a change from a four-down front to a three-down front so we don’t really know what they are going to do on defense."
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