Head coach Bobby Petrino sent his players and coaches home for Christmas after the workout. He'll bring them back to campus next week for another set of practices before the team boards buses for the trip to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 31.
Petrino met with the media after the Wednesday workout, praising his seniors and team leaders for the way they've handled this first phase.
"Our team has practiced well," he said. "I like the attitude, especially the seniors and the team leaders. I like their focus and the way they've led our squad."
"He's really impressed me," Petrino said when asked about the way Childs has handled his 2011 comeback.
"He's mature and been a great teammate. In these (bowl) practices, he's really impressed me. He's gotten his speed back. He'll be back (to full speed) next year. I think he's like the majority of people who have had these types of serious surgeries, they are much better the second year. It takes them a year to get all the way back."
Petrino was also asked about the progress of Forrest City product Davyon McKinney. Recruited as a wide receiver, McKinney has spent the year as a redshirt after moving to cornerback in two-a-days.
"He's done a real nice job," Petrino said of the redshirt freshman. "He's really going to be a good player. He's still growing, growing into his body. He's working at cornerback, but he might be a safety. You see how big he is and he might need to play at safety. We'll see how big he is in the spring and how he tackles.
"We are going to need some safeties. We are losing a lot of safeties."
Petrino was asked about the way Knile Davis looked in bowl practices.
"He looked really good and was in some of our timing drills, but no contact," Petrino said. "Then we took that screw out after finals. He will get his speed back pretty quickly. He'll be back to full speed real fast."
Petrino said the last few practices have been split into half individual and drills with some group sessions, then half of the workout in Kansas State preparations. There have also been sessions afterwards for the younger players in development workouts.
"Our coaches are about finished with the game plan and we'll install that when we come back next week," he said. "We'll pick up the pace then."
When the team arrives in Dallas, the first practice will be a walk through in Cowboys Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 1. Then, the practices will be broken into a game week as they prepare for the Friday, Jan. 6 game.
"That week will be just like a normal game week," he said. "It will be a little different than last year at the Sugar Bowl when we were there for a long time. This is about two days shorter and about right. I think that will help us."
Petrino mentioned after the Sugar Bowl and a slow start against Ohio State that he would evaluate bowl preparations at a later time. What did the Hogs do different this time and how has that worked?
"I think we did change some things," he said. "I'm not sure if it had so much to do with the Sugar Bowl as it did how much extended time we had (between the bowl announcement and the game)," Petrino said. "We've gone back and focused on what we do as football players. We worked hard on technique and did group drills like you do in the spring. We wanted to try to get better as football players. That's what we've done different.
"I think this schedule has helped us. I think we made good use of the time."
Petrino said he used the time different than past bowl years.
"That first two weeks I focused on recruiting and got on the road," he said. "We've done things different in that respect."
As far as calling plays in the bowl for the defense, Petrino said new coordinator Paul Haynes will handle that job.
"He's worked hard getting ready," he said. "We've done it a little different than in the past where we might have split up certain calls and had one guy do the second downs and maybe another the third downs. They've done it as a group and then Paul will make the calls. But they've all been involved."
Petrino said he had a simple message for his players as they broke camp.
"I told them to enjoy Christmas and get away," he said. "I want them to relax."
However, he said there were some specific instructions on preparations, too.
"We've given them a couple of things to do," Petrino said. "It will help them keep their conditioning while they are gone. Most of them will do it, too."
There were some chuckles with that last line before he added a message to fans.
"I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and thank our fans for their support," he said.
What will he do as far as Christmas plans?
"I'm just like you guys," he said, nodding towards the media. "I will do exactly what my wife tells me to do."