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Special Teams Key in Saturday?s Battle with Florida

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Special Teams Key in Saturday?s Battle with Florida

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas football spent slightly less then two hours fine-tuning their game plan for Saturday’s SEC Championship Game against Florida. Wednesday’s practice, split between the practice fields and the Willard and Pat Walker Pavilion, was the second to last in Northwest Arkansas before the team heads to Atlanta on Friday.

“One thing (Florida) does offensively that we do,” head coach Houston Nutt said, “There are a lot of multiple sets and it takes a lot of preparation time. (Tim) Tebow can play quarterback. You’ve got Percy Harvin along with Chris Leak so there are a lot of formations that have to be covered. We had a good work day today and we are going to have another good two days coming up.”

In addition to their talented offense, Nutt has also put a lot of focus on Florida’s kicking game.

“Their kicking game is outstanding,” Nutt said. “We have to do a great job. We have done a great job all year long. We let one out of the gate last week. We have to get all that corrected.”

Special teams play will be essential for both teams on Saturday. After uncharacteristically missing a field goal last Friday, Nutt still has plenty of faith in Razorback kicker Jeremy Davis.

“The one thing about Jeremy Davis is he’s a competitor”, Nutt said. “Nobody wants it more then he does. I really think (him missing the PAT against LSU) was a fluke and it’s not going to happen ever again. I believe that and he does too. Just keep kicking, everybody execute. The special teams have won a lot of ball games for us this year. We won field position; we have outgained a lot of people in yardage with special teams. We are going to be all right.”

The quarterbacks will also be a key element to Saturday’s game for the Razorbacks and the Gators. Both teams have split minutes between two quarterbacks including two freshmen.

“Casey (Dick) looked good again today, really focused,” Nutt said. “He did a good job. You have to be prepared for anything (with two quarterbacks). You just go by feel, there is a little bit more running.”

The element of excitement is still present on the Arkansas fields and in the lockerroom. Nutt, his staff and his players are ready to go to Atlanta and fight for the SEC title.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Nutt said. “You are playing for a title, an outright title. We came in through the front door. We won the Western Division outright. The first time we went to Atlanta, I felt like we snuck in through the back door a little bit. We were just happy to get there. We are happy to be going to Atlanta but we are also going with a purpose.”



Sports Category : Football