FAYETTEVILLE – The Razorback football team was focused on Tuesday afternoon despite a long practice on the fields behind Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium as it implemented its game plan for Saturday afternoon’s clash with #8 Texas.
Bookending the practice with conditioning drills to better prepare for the heat of Austin, Texas, in September, the Razorbacks also worked on every aspect of the game from the run, pass, defense and special teams.
“Practice was pretty good today,” Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said. “The guys came out here with a lot of intensity, flying around, going hard. We still need to clean up some things execution wise, but the intensity and focus was good. We just have to keep working hard all week and get ready to go.”
Arkansas’ practice last Tuesday was not quite what the Razorback coaches expected or wanted, but a revitalized effort by the players had the coaches pleased with the effort.
“It was better. The guys were flying around,” Petrino said. “The effort was better. Every Tuesday is when you put in the game plan so you get the rest of the week to get the execution down, but the intensity and the fire and effort were much better.”
One of the concerns about this weekend aside from playing a very good Texas team is the weather as hurricane Ike is poised to make landfall later this week.
“We are preparing to go down there and play,” Petrino said. “Whatever happens happens. If we have to go play in really bad weather, great, that might be better. Whatever happens we are going to go down there and have a great game. We are going to go down there and be real aggressive and not hold anything back and go there to win.”
The Longhorns enter the game ranked eighth in the nation in both polls and have a solid offense with a stout defense. That defense has surrendered just 13 points over two games making Petrino’s job as offensive coordinator even harder.
“They are big and fast,” Petrino said. “Their defensive line is really good; they come off the ball real well. Their tackles are good, their ends are good. Their three linebackers are real smart football player, you can tell they’ve played a lot of football and are real experienced. There’s no question that the strength of their defense is the front seven.”
For Arkansas to be successful it must make the most of its opportunities, especially in the red zone. The Razorbacks hope to get off to a fast start to help calm the pre-game jitters in front of a hostile crowd.
“It’s real important (to get off to a good start),” Petrino said. “We had two great drives to start the game out and came away with no points. That is something that we have talked about, really since the first night this week with the offense. We can’t blow opportunities like that, we have to make sure we get touchdowns and take care of our business.”
The Razorbacks take on Texas Saturday afternoon in Austin, Texas, at 2:30 p.m. For more information regarding Razorback football or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.