Hogs Headed to Shreveport

It will be Arkansas vs. Missouri in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 31 in Shreveport, La.

Arkansas (8-4, 4-4) will play Missouri (8-4, 4-4) in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 31. The game will be televised by ESPN.

"We've accepted the invitation and we are excited about it, excited to play one more game," said Houston Nutt, UA head coach on Sunday.

"It's a great opportunity against a talented team with an elusive quarterback who can make a lot of plays.

"We are excited about getting the extra practice time, like an extra spring practice. We love the date (Dec. 31). That's a big positive for this game."

Nutt said it was a positive with some of the recruits he and his coaches have visited with this past week.

"We are recruiting some northern Louisiana kids and some Dallas kids that say they are coming to some of our practices. They want to come see us."

Nutt said he had not seen any video tape of Missouri, but knew that the Tigers were talented.

"Dave Wommack has been looking at some tape and he tells me that Missouri is very good," Nutt said. "We know they run some of the things we run as far as the shotgun package."

Wommack said he was only able to obtain some early games of Missouri since the true film exchange has not taken place.

"I watched just a little," Wommack said. "But when you see their quarterback, Brad Smith, he reminds you of Matt Jones, he really does. He can escape and they will run those plays to get him one-on-one in the open field out of the shotgun. We've seen them do a lot of the things we do and so we will (have some carry over from playing against the Arkansas offense."

The Hogs will lift and run on Tuesday and Thursday of this week. They will conduct a light practice Wednesday with Nutt, Wommack and quarterback coach Roy Wittke present. The rest of the staff will be on the road. The Hogs will resume bowl preparations on Saturday when the rest of the staff will return to campus. Nutt said the Saturday workout would probably be at 10 a.m. The Hogs will workout through Dec. 22 then arrive in Shreveport on Dec. 27.

"The Wednesday practice will be to intoduce Missouri's base (offense and defense," Nutt said. "We'll hae a skeleton staff here and we'll get into some of the things Missouri likes to do."

Nutt said that seniors set the tone with several speaking in the locker room after the LSU game.

"That was very positive," Nutt said. "Tony Bua and Caleb Miller spoke up. There was a lot of hurt in their voices. They said, 'Let's go finish and win a game.' I love that part."

Wommack said he will not reveal them, but would not rule out personnel changes to play against a team like Missouri that is different from any other team the Hogs have played this season.

"You bet I'd change players," he said. "I'm not saying what that will be, but we need to win a game and if we need to make some changes we'll sure do it."

Interestingly, Minnesota switched four starters last year on its defense before playing Arkansas in the Music City Bowl.

"That was a little different," Wommack said, "because they changed their staff and had a new defensive coordinator. They changed their defense because of the coordinator."


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