Arkansas finished its heavy preparation for the season football opener with New Mexico State on Thursday with a heavy emphasis on the kicking game and special situations.
"We had a good Thursday, a good mental day, we bounced around and had a good practice," said Houston Nutt, the UA head coach.
Arkansas meets NMSU at 6 p.m. Thursday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Trainer Dean Weber issued a statement that said linebacker Michael Robinson remains hospitalized with an undiagnosed illness. Robinson was taken to Washington Regional Hospital in Fayetteville when he became "very ill" during Wednesday's workout. Nutt said he visited the hospital twice on Thursday, but did not speak to his player.
"He was under heavy medication the first time I was there, and was asleep the second time," Nutt said. "I know this, he's under great care there. The doctors and nurses assured me that he is getting better."
Weber said that Robinson was getting better. He said that doctors think he will be able to rejoin the team "in a few days." He will not play in Saturday's opener.
Nutt said the Hogs covered a variety of special situations on Thursday and hit special team situations "very hard. We also worked on the two-minute drill at the end. We covered substitutions. We've got a lot of young men who haven't played and we tried to cover a lot of things today. I know they are ready to play a game. You can tell that because they are starting to talk about when momma is going to get here or whether they have enough tickets."
Tracy Rocker, the defensive line coach, said he is going into the opener with an eight-man rotation up front.
"We'll see how it goes, but we are going to play eight," he said. "We are ready to go with eight and that's what we will do. We've had good practices."
Wide receiver coach James Shibest said Thursday that his rotation "would be five or six. We'll see what packages we go with and that will tell us how many we'll use. Game conditions will determine it, too, heat and the style of game it becomes."
Matt Jones worked plenty at quarterback, but did not throw much.
"That's the Thursday routine we used last year," said QB coach Roy Wittke. "But I'd say Matt threw more today than he did in Thursday workouts of last year. That was a good routine and we went back to it some today. We want his arm fresh. But, his arm and shoulder have been great this fall. No problems there at all. Matt has had a great camp and is ready to go."
Thursday Grid Report, 9/2
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