FAYETTEVILLE – There may have been rain in the area, but the Razorback football team didn’t let the overcast skies dampen their spirits as they moved inside Walker Pavilion for a high intensity two-hour workout in preparation for their game with 20th-ranked Auburn on Saturday.
The Razorbacks began with stretching and conditioning drills before moving on to specialized position workouts for the opening 20 minutes of practice. The squad quickly moved on to the game plan for Auburn and ended with special teams drills.
“Practice went pretty good,” Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said. “Coming inside the intensity was good, we flew around. I thought that the kids came out really focused hard on it and tried to execute it. I thought it was a pretty good practice.”
Arkansas saw a lot of blitzes from the Florida defense and did a good job against the Gators. Auburn brings a bit of a different wrinkle to the field, but one that the Razorbacks are prepared for.
“[Auburn] uses a little bit more man blitzes than zone blitzes,” Petrino said. “The last couple of teams were more zone blitzes. They have a little bit different scheme, a little bit different way they play the game. They’re a real good defense and nobody has moved the ball a lot against them.”
Against the Gators the Razorbacks did a good job of moving the ball up and down the field, but failed to capitalize inside the red zone, a statistic that Petrino knows must improve as Arkansas moves forward.
“We have to not beat ourselves [inside the red zone],” Petrino said. “A couple of times we have gotten down there we’ve had penalties. We can’t do that. That’s when the execution has to be a lot sharper. You don’t have as much room so you have to be more accurate, more precise in everything you do and we have to bust a couple of runs when you get to that point. That is something that we’ve made an emphasis of and have to improve.”
Last weekend injuries forced a couple of Razorback offensive linemen into a starting role, a task they performed admirably in. Petrino also commented on the status of all the Razorback players as it relates to starting each game.
“I thought [Grant Cook and Grant Freeman] played with real good effort and were tough,” Petrino said. “I thought they did a good job.
“All our jobs are always open for competition,” the coordinator continued. “There is nobody here at this time except for maybe Michael Smith that has the job just locked down, maybe Jonathan Luigs. All the jobs are wide open for competition so each week we are out there battling and whoever does the best in practice is who is going to play.”
The Razorbacks are back on the practice field on Wednesday as they continue to prepare for Auburn. For more information regarding Razorback football or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.