FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas football team returned to the practice field on Tuesday in preparation for 21st-ranked Auburn with a two-hour workout in full pads on the practice fields south of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The Hogs and Tigers are slated to kickoff at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Auburn holds an 8-5-1 edge in the all-time series.
“We had a good practice today,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “Tuesday is a tough work day. We came out here and put in a lot of preparation time. We went through everything they (Auburn) do as a football team.
“They are a very good football team that has been off for a week, so we had a lot to do today. We have to have another good day of practice tomorrow. Tuesday and Wednesday’s are work days.”
The 4-1 Tigers bring a very talent football team to Fayetteville that is on a four-game winning streak after dropping their season opener to Georgia Tech. The trip to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium is the first road game of the season for the Tigers, who opened the 2005 campaign with five consecutive home games.
Auburn brings the nation’s No. 2-ranked defense into the SEC showdown and Coach Nutt expects the Tigers to stack the box and force the Hogs to beat them through the air.
“Their defense is fast,” Nutt said. “We can’t make any mistakes. We have to take great first steps and proper angles, but we also have to be at our best blocking. These guys can run, and they know how to chase the ball. They do a great job of swarming the football. They are all back from last year, if that tells you something. They went 13-0 last season and have senior linebackers that are leading the way this season. They are fun to watch, but not that much fun when you have to play them. They really play the game the way it is supposed to be played.
“I feel like they are going to overcrowd us in the box this week. I think they will come after us by working the safety up in the box and overpopulating the line of scrimmage. We have to execute this week.”
The Razorbacks welcomed the return of Rimington Award candidate Kyle Roper to practice after the senior missed the Louisiana-Monroe game with a sore knee. Wide receiver Cedric Washington also missed the ULM game and returned to practice on Tuesday. Both players are tentatively scheduled to start on Saturday, but how they practice the remainder of the week will be the final deciding factor.
The Hogs will return to the practice field on Wednesday afternoon.