Razorbacks Go Back to Work in Preparation for
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt stressed focus to his team on Tuesday as the Razorbacks prepared for their first road game of the season this Saturday at Florida. The Hogs’ practices are traditionally open to fans and the media, but Nutt closed the two-hour practice on Tuesday to send a message to his squad.
“We had a good day today,” Nutt said. “We really tried to put an emphasis, a lot like we did last year when we went to Texas, on trying to close things out and concentrate. Especially for our younger guys, we want them to know that when you go on the road you have to concentrate twice as hard. The noise will be at an all-time high. That is something that we will be unfamiliar with, because we have been at home in a very comfortable place.”
Nutt also emphasized the importance of quick starts against conference opponents, especially on the road. The last time Arkansas played at Florida in 1997, the Gators returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and rolled to a 56-7 victory. Although Nutt was not the coach of the Razorbacks that season, he understands that a bad start can mean a long day in the SEC.
“Any time home or away you don’t want to put yourself behind the eight ball,” Nutt said. “You don’t want to get in a hole. Then the crowd gets into it. You don’t want to give them any gifts. Those are the things we were talking about today.”
Senior tailback DeCori Birimingham put in a full workout on Tuesday. Birmingham was bothered by a hip pointer against Alabama, but should be ready to go this weekend. Even his absence, running backs De’Arrius Howard and Peyton Hillis picked up the slack. Tailback Dedrick Poole and Kyle Dickerson have also shown they can contribute giving the Razorbacks plenty of options in the backfield.
“They have been very good,” Nutt said. “We have been fortunate to keep them healthy. In the SEC, we have always needed at least three and sometimes four. These guys have been doing a good job. I’m glad we have them all.”
Arkansas and Florida will kick things off at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. CBS Sports will televise the Hogs and the Gators nationally.
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