Jackson, Harrell Get Nod At Defensive Tackle Spots

FAYETTEVILLE -- At least one mystery was finally solved during the Arkansas football practice Thursday.

That's when juniors Keith Jackson and Jeremy Harrell were named the starting defensive tackles for Saturday's game against Missouri State in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

Also in the running for the starting spots were Fred Bledsoe and Marcus Harrison.

Razorbacks defensive line coach Tracy Rocker said it was not an extremely tough decision to make.

"We found out who'll be the starters," Rocker said. "We'll see what happens after that, so good luck to them."

What was the deciding factor?

"Practice, practice," Rocker said. "They practice hard. They practiced hard from whatever. From last week to today. They practice hard.

"That's what we went on.

"You practice hard, that's what we went on. You practice hard, you're doing all right. That's what we went on.

"We'll go from there."

"They knew what they were doing and they worked hard. You know, we've got guys picking and choosing which play they want to play, which play they don't want to play.

"Right now, they (Jackson and Harrell) are playing at 100 percent."

The Hay Is In The Barn
Arkansas practiced a little more than an hour on Thursday, going six periods on the kicking game, eight more on regular practice.

"Game time is getting close, close, close and we are ready to play," said Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. "We are ready to go hit somebody else and it has been a long time coming. Our guys are excited, and I am anxious to see them play.

"I know our players are anxious, our coaches are anxious and it seems like our fans are anxious, so let's go do it."

Arkansas will have walk-through today and opens its season at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Hillis On Doak Walker Watch List
Arkansas sophomore Peyton Hillis is one of 47 running backs named to the 2005 Doak Walker Award watch list released on Thursday by the SMU Athletic Forum. The award is presented annually to the nation's best running back, is widely recognized as the most prestigious honor for collegiate running backs.

"It is an honor for Peyton to be a candidate for this award," Nutt said. "I think people got to see a glimpse of the great potential he has last year before he got hurt. He is a powerful runner and has great hands out of the backfield. He will be all over the field in a number of different roles for us this year. I'm excited about Peyton Hillis."

As a true freshman last year, Hillis played both fullback and tailback but suffered a fracture of the transverse processes of vertebrate in his lower back against Florida. Before the injury, he had scored five touchdowns in the Hogs' first four games.

Initially thought out for the season, Hillis returned to action just three weeks later. He finished with 63 carries for 240 yards and 6 touchdowns. Hillis also had 12 catches for 97 yards and two TDs.

Hurricane Relief
Like many colleges, Arkansas will join to help the relief effort in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Donations will be taken at Saturday's game at several locations, and again Sept. 10 in the Hogs' game against Vanderbilt at home.

"I tell you, your heart just goes out," Nutt said. "I've gotten a little bit closer, not only watching TV but when it's one of your own, one of your players. We have two players (cornerback Darius Vinnett and offensive lineman Stephen Parker) from the New Orleans area. You're talking about families who've lived down there all their lives. Their world's turned upside down right now.

"It's a sad situation.

"Hopefully we can help a little bit and do our part."

Quarterback Shuffle?
Razorbacks sophomore Robert Johnson will start Saturday's game, but how much action will the other signal-callers -- Alex Morensen and Cole Barthel -- see?

It all depends.

"We have not set any specific rotation," said Hogs quarterbacks coach Roy Whittke. "We are going to make the decisions that are best for the football team at the time. But there's no set rotation as far as giving somebody a series here, a series there. We'll let the circumstances of the ball game warrant what we do.

"All three of those kids have done an outstanding job during fall camp. All three of those kids are ready mentally and physically. We have confidence that all three of them can lead our football team."

"We're extremely anxious to find out what these guys are about and how we're going to react, not only at that position group, but as an offensive unit and as a football team. that's one of the things you're always looking forward to in the opener."

Public Parking, Shuttle Service
Arkansas football fans wishing to park and ride a free shuttle to Reynolds Razorback Stadium may use the large paved lot east of Razorback Road across from Baum Stadium.

The lot contains more than 1,800 parking spots and is free to the public Free public parking also is available west of Beechwood Street in both the Shaver Foods and Ayrshire Electronics parking lots.

Something new this year that fans should make special note of is that the lot immediately north of Baum Stadium and the lot north of the Randal Tyson Track Center are no longer available for free public parking. Those lots are reserved parking for a private tailgating event being held at the Tyson Track Center. Admission to the event is $5 and includes a parking spot in those lots.

All shuttle busses running from both east and west of Razorback Road are free to the public and will drop fans off at Gate 1 on the southwest corner of the stadium. Shuttles begin running four hours prior to kickoff each game.

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