FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –– Arkansas finished preparations for Ole Miss on Thursday afternoon with a hour practice in shorts and helmets that was split between the practice fields south of Donald W. Reynolds Stadium and the Willard and Pat Walker Pavilion.
The Razorbacks and Rebels are scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. Saturday from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss.
“It has been a good week of practice,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “We have been watching the attitude of the team closely this week since it is the first time we aren’t playing for a bowl game this time of year. I really appreciate the way the team has come out and worked hard and really tired to get better. That is all that you can ask as a coach.”
The Hogs have really focused on correcting mistakes made in goal line and short-yardage situations this week in practice.
“We will know if we have made those corrections when game time rolls around,” Nutt said. “We have been limited, as far as hitting, because we are so beat up. But I will tell you that we have put a big emphasis on it this week, and we are hoping it is corrected and ready to go.
“We are playing against a pretty good defense, so that means that your pad level has to be right and your steps have to be right. It is going to be physical game because they are very stingy with the points they give up.”
The development of true freshman quarterback Casey Dick has also pleased the coaching staff this week. The Allen, Texas, native appears to be maturing into his role as the starting quarterback.
“Casey has been a lot better in week two,” Nutt said. “He has been a lot more comfortable and that should be expected. But now you are on the road so that means his volume level is going to have to go up, and his communication has to be better.”
Injuries to Stephen Parker and Kyle Roper have thinned the Razorbacks’ offensive line during the practice week, but Coach Nutt is planning to have both players available for the game.