Rain Forces Razorbacks Inside for Friday Pract
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Day-long rain forced the Arkansas football team into the Walker Pavilion as they held a one-hour long practice before the weekend started. The Hogs did not want to damage the field grass before they hold a closed walk-through.
“We had to change the schedule and stay off that pretty grass,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “I really want to compliment Pat and our grounds crew. This is the best shape our grass has ever been in. We’re going to come back tomorrow morning, rehearse and try to get under the lights Sunday night or Monday night.”
Nutt is going to emphasize a variety of issues during the rehearsal in order to insure a successful opening season game against Tulsa.
“Tomorrow we’ll go through every situation from the huddle to the sideline organization,” Nutt said. “We’ll be on the headsets. It’s basically a game that’s already pre-scripted. We’ll run full-speed plays, execute, do our jobs, get on and off the field, play the game and get ready.”
The special teams are an area Arkansas is working on and Nutt is confident in the returning abilities of veterans Marvin Jackson and DeCori Birmingham. Freshman punter Jacob Skinner will also see playing time and will have to adjust to the faster rush of college football.
“The punt is one of the biggest responsibilities, because people are using so many different schemes,” Nutt said. “They rush so many different combinations, so you have to be prepared and ready. That’s always a worry, so you spent most of the time on that. I feel like we have some great kick returners and punt returners in the hands of Marvin Jackson and DeCori Birmingham. Jacob Skinner continues to punt and has to be conscious of getting rid of the ball, because he’s going to see rushes like he’s never seen before.”
Nutt also addressed the status of a few injured Arkansas players. Their return is still questionable for the first game.
“(Arrion) Dixon is coming real fast and did some good things yesterday,” Nutt said. “(Jimarr) Gallon can’t get hit, because of those broken bones. I don’t know if he’s going to play by Tulsa. (Tony) Ugoh will really have to do some things by next week, but right now I’d say no.”
The 2003 Razorback football season is set to begin in Fayetteville, Ark., on September 6, against Tulsa. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m., at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
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