Wednesday Grid Report, 9-29

Arkansas continues its closed workouts at it prepares for a Satuday showdown with Florida in The Swamp.

Even if University of Arkansas practice was open this week as it normally is, it would be quite the challenge to keep up with what the Razorback football team is up to during the workouts.

That's because many of the players have swapped numbers this week to have a little fun and break up the monotony as they get ready to head out on their first road test of the season.

That first road test will occur Saturday when the UA (3-1, 1-0) visits No. 27 Florida (2-1, 1-1) for an 11 a.m. game that will be nationally televised by CBS from a stadium that is dubbed The Swamp and where the home team has won 78 of its last 88 games.

"Our kids are excited about going to Florida and seeing how we can do," Nutt said following the 2-hour practice. "We've really had good focus this week and today was no exception."

The practices have actually been open to the media for the first 20 minutes each day, but then they are sent away until the completion of the workout. It is the same tact the Razorbacks used last season for their first road trip, a successful 38-28 whipping of Texas in Austin.

Like last year, music and noise have been blaring throughout practices trying to get this season's young version of.the Razorbacks ready to face a loud crowd.

"We are trying to make it an emphasis because no matter how much you tell and how many times you tell them how loud it is going to be, they don't understand until you get there," Nutt said. "We had music out here again today and tried to keep it up as loud as possible. We are just trying to get them to understand it is a different environment than the comfortable surroundings you have been in."

Nutt did acknowledge that having senior quarterback Matt Jones, who is just 123 yards away from being the SEC's all-time leading rusher when it comes to signal callers, was at least a blessing.

"There is a calming effect that he gives our team," Nutt said. "It is good to have a veteran at quarterback when you go into a hostile place like that."

Florida junior running back Ciatrick Fason (6-0, 212), who had a great game against Arkansas last season in the Gators' 33-28 win over the Razorbacks in Fayetteville, had a career day on Saturday and was named the SEC's Offensive Player of the Year.

He rushed for a career-high 210 yards on 31 carries and had five receptions for 41 yards , rushing for one touchdown and catching another as Florida whipped Kentucky 20-3 last Saturday.

For an Arkansas team that has seen Texas' Cedric Benson and Alabama's Ray Hudson both go for almost 200 yards against it, obviously slowing down Florida's running game is a top priority.

"We worked real hard on Florida's running game with their great back," Nutt said. "They also do a good job with a great group of receivers that try to really stretch the field, spread you out and that's where they hit draw plays with their tailback and some of that radar option that we do."

Two of the Razorbacks' redshirting freshmen – one a speedster and a one a big wideout - were doing their best to provide Arkansas a glimpse of Florida's wideouts of the same type.

"Cedric Logan and Anthony Brown did a great job today for us today of trying to simulate the speed," Nutt said.

It appeared that all of Arkansas' injured players were at least going through some of practice as they continue to heal.

"Our injured ones did a little bit better today than they did yesterday and that's what we are striving for," Nutt said. "Hopefully by Saturday we will all be ready to go."

The CBS announcing crew this weekend will be Craig Bolerjack doing the play-by-play, Spencer Tillman handling the analyst duties and Dwayne Ballen.


Hawgs Daily Top Stories