Senior defender Tony Bua and redshirting freshman quarterback Robert Johnson were out with injuries, but that didn't keep Arkansas from having a spirited Friday morning workout that lasted over two hours.
Bua was taking off because of a bum knee after taking a shot from a helmet while Johnson (who is impersonating Missouri quarterback Brad Smith) was still recovering from a shot to his helmet during Thursday's workout.
That practice was one that didn't please head coach Houston Nutt, but the Razorbacks bounced back with a vengeance on Friday.
"The guys bounced around and there was a lot of passion and enthusiasm," Nutt said. "When we play with that intensity, enthusiasm, passion you've got a chance to be a good football team. It was a good day today."
Indeed the workout included some spirited hitting among both the first-teamers and the younger players in separate periods.
"There was really some excitement around here today and it was great to see," UA assistant coach Chris Vaughn said. "We very excited about what we are getting accomplished."
Arkansas (8-4, 4-4) will continue to work on-campus through Monday in preparation for an Independence Bowl matchup with Missouri (8-4, 4-4) on New Year's Eve night in Shreveport, La.
Cornerbacks like Batman Carroll, Lawrence Richardson and Bo Mosely all had big plays in Friday's workouts as did running back Cedric Cobbs and tight end Jason Peters among others.
"Our guys are excited about going down there to take care of business and win a bowl game," Nutt said. "That's what we are putting in the work for - to go win."
The extra work - part of the benefit of going to a bowl - has also allowed the Arkansas staff to get some extra evaluation of its young players.
Nutt was thoroughly pleased with the Friday effort of redshirting freshman fullback Farod Jackson, who is coming off injury.
"Farod Jackson has lost about 15 pounds since he got here and really rehabbed his knee," Nutt said. "He looked really good and I'm really excited about him being at fullback."
Nutt also pointed out the play of center Skye Peterson, who transferred from Delta (Miss) Community and has been able to go through bowl workouts.
"It's really an advantage to have a guy come in at semester like that, especially snapping the ball at center and he did a great job," Nutt said.
Arkansas, which is hosting Conway fullback and committed Razorback Peyton Hillis this weekend, is slate to work out again Saturday morning, Sunday and Monday morning before breaking for Christmas and reconvening in Shreveport on Saturday.
"Just getting it done, putting the work in," Nutt said. "That's the focus right now."
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