FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas football team practiced for two hours Tuesday afternoon in full pads on the grass practice fields south of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in preparation for Saturday’s clash with 3-0 Alabama.
“It was a good day of learning today,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “We had a good day of practice. We tired to hit all of the sets that Alabama runs. We all know that they love to hand the ball off to the tailback and you have to be very physical.”
Alabama’s physical running game behind Kenneth Darby will require the Razorbacks to improve their tackling over last week when Vanderbilt rushed for 240 yards.
“We have to do a much better job with pad level and tackling,” Nutt said. “We had a good start today and worked hard on that.”
Former Razorback defensive coordinator Joe Kines now heads up the Crimson Tide defense and will present the Hogs with a challenge on Saturday.
“Joe Kines does a good job of giving you a lot of different looks,” Nutt said. “He gives you a lot of different techniques and different coverages. We have to be ready to go.”
The Hogs are looking to build off the momentum of the 21-19 win at Vanderbilt that put them at 1-0 in the Southeastern Conference.
“There is nothing like it (a 2-0 start in conference play) and that is our goal,” Nutt said. “There is nothing like being 1-0, but being 2-0 is all we are focused on.”
Arkansas made a few changes to the depth chart following the Vanderbilt game with former free safety Matt Hewitt moving to strong-side linebacker. The Razorbacks also moved Anthony Brown back to the defensive side of the football to help with depth at linebacker. The former defensive end turned split end will help backup Sam Olajubutu at will linebacker.
Senior cornerback Darius Vinnett returned to practice on Tuesday and is on track to see playing time against the Crimson Tide this weekend.
The Hogs return to the practice field on Wednesday and Thursday to put the finishing touches on the game plan for the Crimson Tide.