It may not be that close to Halloween yet, but there was a little trick-or-treating going on at the University of Arkansas' practice fields on Wednesday.
The Razorbacks were trying to go over a bunch of "trickery" that head coach Houston Nutt thinks New Mexico State might offer up during Saturday night's 6 p.m. season opener for both teams at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
"We hit a lot of trick plays today," Nutt said. "Last year there was a lot of fake punts, a lot of trickery and we expect that. In their first three games there were reverse passes, quarterback throwback to the quarterback and (now) they have two quarterbacks in the formation at the same time. It's just all different trickery plays and we tried to cover that and hit some different scenarios."
Linebacker coach Chris Vaughn said his group has to be especially cognizant of not letting NMS quarterbacks Buck Pierce and backup Paul Dombrowski, who will line up in the backfield and at wideout, draw them in with fakes or trickery and allow big plays to happen.
"They have got a great scheme and two really good quarterbacks," Vaughn said. "We really have a lot of respect them a whole bunch. We are really going to have to play our game. We definitely respect them, have to make sure we follow our assignments and not allow anything big to happen that could swing momentum the wrong way. I feel good that we will play great."
The Razorbacks did get a scare before practice when linebacker Michael Robinson had to be taken to Washington Regional.
Robinson became disoriented and broke out in a cold sweat according to Nutt.
"It wasn't anything that (trainer) Dean (Weber) or anybody could figure out," Nutt told The Morning New's Robbie Neiswanger. "He got extremely sick. I don't know if it was the medicine he took or what. I just don't know anything other than that.
"It kind of scared us," Nutt added. "He was delirious. He was breaking out into a cold sweat. Dean has never seen anything like it. It's a lot different than anything we've experienced. Usually we know, "OK, he's sick. He's got a virus, throwing up.' But he was breaking out into a cold sweat, talking to himself. He was delirious.
"We're concerned about him and we're going to check him out," said Nutt of the player who will remain at the hospital overnight while undergoing testing.
Nutt got word at the end of practice that backup redshirt freshman quarterback Landon Leach's shoulder injury was not as severe as first thought, but wanted to talk with him before commenting on it.
Nutt was a little unhappy at his offense for a time during the workout, which was in shorts and shoulder pads as the UA starts dialing it back a notch.
"Offensively we still put the ball on the ground too much today," Nutt said. "We can't have that, especially when the defense is getting the turnovers."
Arkansas will continue to work on recognition on Thursday as it gets ever so closer to the opener after a long preseason.
"We just tried to hit everything we can and we will probably come out and do the same thing tomorrow one more time," Nutt said. "We are running out of dates."
"They are ready for it," Nutt continued. "When you hit that 27th, 28th practice, it gets awfully tough. They are so anxious. We are all anxious to get out on the field. It is an exciting time and now you have to go perform."
It will be an exciting time for many new Razorbacks, seeing as how there are 10 new starters on offense and 8 or 9 on defense.
"I'm anxious to see how they perform with that sea of red and a stadium full of great atmosphere," Nutt said. "Hopefully we will be very good, very fast, playing hard and playing for four quarters."
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