Razorbacks Return to the Practice Field After
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas returned to the practice field for the first time in a week, on Sunday, as the Razorbacks officially began preparations to battle the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the 2002 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl on Dec. 30, in Nashville, Tenn.
The Hogs worked in sweats and helmets for a little more than an hour on the artificial turf inside the Walker Pavilion. It was Arkansas’ first practice since losing to Georgia in the 2002 SEC Championship Game on Dec. 7.
“It was good week off to give our guys a chance to prepare for finals and get a way from the football field a little bit,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “They gave us a lot today and I was pleased with their effort. We had to knock the rust off a little today, and tomorrow we will back into full pads.”
Arkansas saw its six-game winning streak come to an end with a 30-3 loss to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. With that loss and other possible bowl destinations going by the wayside in the process, the Razorbacks might seem to be a candidate for a postseason letdown. Nutt says he has addressed that with his team and the Hogs have more than enough incentive to come out ready to go against Minnesota.
“We talk about going into every game with the attitude that we need to win,” Nutt said. “We need to have our best effort. Right now we have a bad taste in our mouth from our last game and we want to get another win in a bowl game. There are a lot of people that would love to take our place and go to a bowl. We have a great opportunity.”
Sophomore DeCori Birmingham and junior Ken Hamlin both practiced on Monday. Birmingham suffered a pair of sprained ankles against Georgia while Hamlin is still nursing a deep thigh bruise. Both players are expected to be ready to go for the bowl game.
No. 25 Arkansas will make its 33rd bowl appearance in school history when the Razorbacks take on the Golden Gophers at The Coliseum on the afternoon of Dec. 30. The game will kick off at 1 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.
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