Arkansas will have a new kickoff return man. Bobby Petrino revealed that much Thursday at his final media session of the week, after the Hogs' last on-campus practice before the Texas A&M game on Saturday. But we don't know who it will be just yet.
Petrino said Maudrecus Humphrey, the kickoff man the last two games, got "nicked up" against Alabama and won't handle that role this week. Joe Adams, Cobi Hamilton and Lance Ray rotated at that spot the last few days of practice.
"We took a good look at that again today in practice and had six more plays," Petrino said. "We'll look at the tape tonight and then make a decision tomorrow. They've all three hit it up in there good."
Petrino said the Hogs have had two good weeks of preparation since the loss to Alabama. He said the team is "anxious and ready to get back on the field in a game. We are healthy. We were beat up a little and it was a good time for a bye week."
Petrino was asked if the squad learned anything last year when it lost a tough game to Florida, then didn't perform as well the next week against Ole Miss.
"Last year was last year," he said. "We don't go back over that. Hopefully, they did learn something then.
"I did like the way they came out on the first Tuesday after the Alabama game. I was surprised by the leadership, the attitude. They handled it well. They came back out and said they were ready to go back to work.
"Now we need to go down there and show whether or not we are good or not."
Petrino said he expects the Aggies to play well. They've been plagued by turnovers. They have moved the ball well when they have avoided turnovers.
"You prepare for their best," Petrino said. "We know how well they've moved it. They have really been good in the first quarter. We have to be ready to match their tempo in the first quarter.
"We have to come out fast. There was a time last year when we were playing really fast. We have to come out that way this year. We have to be fast and physical. We want our defensive front to be a lot more physical and fly to the ball. We have to be like that at the start of the game."
There's been much gnashing of teeth over a less than stellar run game from the Arkansas offense. Is it improved?
"We've worked hard on it," Petrino said. "Our quarterback has to be clued in. He has to be 100 percent in his decision making. He certainly can do it. We have confidence that he can do it. He will do it.
"We have to be more physical in the offensive line. We have to hit our tracks better as running backs. We have to do a better job blocking down the field."
The A&M defense features a 3-4 alignment with a variety of zone blitzes. It's something Petrino has had success against at other stops in his coaching career, but hasn't seen much lately.
"We don't see it much in the SEC," he said. "It's more man pressures. They try to lock you up with man at corner and put the quarterback on a clock. A&M will play a little of what we call man free, but it's mostly two deep and three deep zones with man underneath."
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