Razorbacks Ready to Take on Volunteers
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas wrapped up a short final practice of one hour and 20 minutes before facing Tennessee this Saturday, with good concentration and effort.
“We had real good mental concentration today,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “Our guys really bounced around and carried out their assignments, that’s what you have to have when you’re going to a place like this.”
Nutt has been emphasizing the kicking game most of the week and is pleased with the results. His team has also been preparing for the Vols’ offensive schemes, focusing on quarterback Casey Clausen and their tight end.
“We hit real hard on the kicking game,” Nutt said. “The kicking game has been real good and you have to have a good kicking game, especially when you go on the road. On offense and defense, we’re just trying to hit every situation and different personnel groupings they use with Casey Clausen. And their tight end is really a dangerous weapon they use to run and pass. They flex him out as a wide receiver. He can run better than you think, this guy can really catch the football and does a good job with routes. We tried to hit on those things.”
After Fred Talley injured his wrist playing against Alabama, Nutt was optimistic about his improvement this week, but won’t know until game time whether or not he’ll be ready to take the field.
“He (Fred Talley) ran hard,” Nutt said. “We just don’t know how he’s going to hold up with the wrist, as far as holding on to the ball, but his right arm looks good. Everything else physical with him, he’s ready to go.”
Possible rain has also become a factor in the Hogs preparing for their first conference road game.
“The rain doesn’t bother us,” Nutt said. “We’d be fine with rain. We play good in the wet weather, but it doesn’t look likes it going to rain at game time. We’ve had wet balls for a couple days.”
Nutt expressed how pleased he has been with the performance of flanker De’Cori Birmingham.
“De’Cori (Birmingham) is a special player that has break-away capabilities,” Nutt said. “He’s been catching the ball extremely well and doing a great job on kickoff and punt returns. He’s been very aggressive and that’s what we want. And he’s still a guy with a cool head that can make a decision and he’s been doing really well. I’m proud of him.”
Junior transfer and linebacker Marcus Whitmore will be out for at least three weeks with a sore shoulder he suffered at practice earlier this week. True freshman Sam Olajubutu will take his place on the traveling squad for the Tennessee game.
The Razorbacks will take on the tenth-ranked Volunteers in Knoxville, Tenn., at Neyland Stadium. For the second week in a row, kickoff time will be at 6:45 p.m., on ESPN.
Sports Category :