FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Twelve days after their last time on a football field, the Razorbacks returned to the practice field Wednesday evening for a 90-minute workout as they begin preparations for a Cotton Bowl match up with Missouri. The team practiced inside the Willard and Pat Walker Pavilion dressed out in shoulder pads and shorts.
“We’ve been off for a week and a half and the guys really came to work today,” interim head coach Reggie Herring said. “It was really refreshing to walk around and see our coaches and players work together. You can tell they’re excited about this game. There’s a sense of seriousness. I’m just really pleased with the attitude they came out with today.”
Despite the time spent away from practice, Herring was happy with the way the team shook off any rust and got right to work.
“You’re always concerned as a coach when you’ve had such a long layoff—the lull, sloppiness or lack of concentration,” Herring said. “I didn’t detect anything and that’s what was encouraging and exciting to me with the way they came out and worked today. To be honest with you, it was almost like we just got done practicing two days ago.”
This was the first practice for Herring since he was named interim head coach. He took more of a supervisory role during Wednesday’s practice entrusting his duty as defensive coordinator to Louis Campbell who has served on the UA coaching staff as recent as the 2006 season when he was the secondary coach.
“It’s really interesting to walk around and watch each coach and player position work,” Herring said. “You can see the personal pride coming out in each group and you can see some leaders in the group just by watching them in fundamentals. I went around and looked at everybody. I was really pleased with the intensity at every position.”
Tailbacks Darren McFadden and Felix Jones and center Jonathan Luigs missed Wednesday’s practice as they traveled to Orlando, Fla., for The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards show which will air Thursday on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. CT.
Arkansas will return to practice Saturday after taking two days off for final exams. Log on to www.hogwired.com for more news about Razorback football.