FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas football continued implementing the Alabama game plan during Wednesday’s practice that lasted just under two hours on the practice fields south of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
“We had another good work day today,” head coach Houston Nutt said. “I love the way the guys are focusing and the intensity was very good. That’s how you have to prepare for SEC (football).”
Despite the Crimson Tide losing 24 lettermen from the 2005 season that ended topping Texas Tech, 13-10, in the Cotton Bowl, Nutt and his players are preparing for a tough, physical Alabama team that pressures all three sides of the ball.
“It’s going to be a physical game for 60 minutes,” Nutt said. “Our players always realize that when we play Alabama. It has been a good Alabama week so far. They are pretty much the same (from last year). Joe Kines’ (Alabama’s defensive coordinator) defense is very typical and very sound. It gives you some bad looks. It gives you different things that you have to work on. It always tries to get you at third and very long and then makes you earn every yard.”
Offensively, the Razorbacks spent the week correcting mistakes from the Vanderbilt game and executing correctly can’t come at a better time.
“Offensively, we have to run the ball, run the ball, be physical, run the ball, play action. We are trying to throw the ball down the field, curls, post corners, things like that. We are relying heavily on the tailback and the offensive line.”
With the new pass offense starting to roll, Nutt is taking advantage of the depth and ability at receiver with the likes of London Crawford and Damian Williams. Those talents joining upperclassmen Darren McFadden and Felix Jones makes for an offense chock-full of threats.
“It’s good to have weapons at each position,” Nutt said. “That’s what you want, to be able to have that balance. They can’t zero in on you and make you play one way. They can take care of every position, tight end, fullback, tailback, receivers, that’s what you are trying to get to. We have to execute. You still have to block, you have to tackle.”
Nutt’s points of stress this week haven’t changed much from earlier in the season but their importance is heightened this week in preparation for Alabama and the rest of the jam-packed SEC schedule.
“Offensively, it’s execution, taking care of the ball and trying to strive for balance,” Nutt said. “The team that is going win this game is the team that can run the ball and the team that can stop the run.”