FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas football returned to the practice fields after two days off for an extended practice on Sunday. The Razorbacks participated in drills in shoulder pads and shorts for 90 minutes in the 80-degree Fayetteville weather.
“It’s good to get everybody back here on a Sunday afternoon after a two-day break,” head coach Houston Nutt said. “We got right back into Auburn and it was a good day back.”
Although he took a break from the practice fields, Nutt got his full share of football this weekend and watched many of the televised games.
“(After watching this weekend’s games) it shows that Alabama is better then people think, Ole Miss, South Carolina, better then what people think,” Nutt said. “Anybody can beat anybody in any given two and a half to three hours. That’s what we just told our players. Anybody can beat anybody in this crazy world of football.”
Happy to have his team return to him, Nutt also welcomed back many of the players who had missed practice last week due to injury including Peyton Hillis, Sam Olajubutu, Darren McFadden and Weston Dacus.
“That’s what a good two days off does for you,” Nutt said. “It refreshes them plus they had a few days off. This was a good time for them but now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and play football. We have a real football team we are playing (on Saturday).”
One of the more notable returns is that of Hillis who, appearing to be at almost full speed on Sunday, sat out for most of last week because of a deep thigh bruise.
“Dean (Weber, Arkansas Director of Athletic Training) expected this,” Nutt said. “He thought if we gave him some time off last week he’d come back really close to full speed. We think he’s really close to full speed. It’s good to have him back. It’s a good lift for him and his teammates.”
Nutt took special notice while watching the Auburn/South Carolina game on Thursday night.
“It was a very good, physical ball game,” Nutt said. “(When you face Auburn) you know what you are playing against, some real athleticism. I thought South Carolina did some great things against them. They hung in there and fought and that’s what it comes down to.”
One of the major differences Nutt foresees in playing the Tigers this weekend is traveling to Auburn and playing on someone else’s field.
“We are going to a tougher environment, we have to go to their backyard,” Nutt said. “When you are missing that 12th man, your focus has to be even better. We have to make fewer mistakes to win this ball game. That’s what is going to be key.”
Sunday’s practice went for about 90 minutes, slightly longer then the usual Sunday workout.
“Normally Sunday practice goes about 45 minutes,” Nutt said. “It’s basically to get the soreness out. This was a more extensive practice and closer to a Tuesday practice.”