Olajubutu Keeps Hogs Focused

FAYETTEVILLE -- Sometimes, players-only meetings are staples of struggling teams.

That's not the case at Arkansas, where senior linebacker Sam Olajubutu called a players' meeting prior to Tuesday's practice just to remind everyone to stay focused.

"That's the first team meeting here without the coaches since 1998," Hogs coach Houston Nutt said. "It shows me their attitude and focus."

Defensive end Jamaal Anderson, who is coming off a game in which he had three sacks against Tennessee, said the meeting lasted just a few minutes.

"(Olajubutu) talked about 'Don't lose focus,'" Anderson said. "We know what this Mississippi State game means. We don't want a letdown."

Anderson said there had been no indication a letdown might occur.

"Just after Tennessee, we don't want to get lackadaisical," he said.

Nutt sang the same tune: "Just do everything like we did the last seven weeks."

Hogs offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn reminded, "The key is, we're one game away from ordering (SEC West championship) rings."

Malzahn was happy with the play of fullback Mitch Petrus, who may start this week with Peyton Hillis (thigh bruise) and Farod Jackson (swollen ankle) ailing.

"Petrus had some good reps against Auburn," Malzahn said. "He's a physical, 280-pound, smashmouth fullback."

Asked about the players' meeting, Malzahn said, "That's what winning teams are about. Every winning team has great leadership."

Hogs quarterback Casey Dick said, "Sam wanted us to all be focused and stay on track. We can do some big things if we just take care of business. There's a lot at stake. We have to prepare like we do for any other game."

Malzahn credited Dick with making some very good throws against Tennessee, and added, "That's a very good feeling."

Dick, in turn, called UA tailback Darren McFadden "an unbelievable weapon."

Nutt said the Razorbacks had a good practice.

With Hillis sidelined, Reggie Fish and Cedric Washington took turns catching punts.


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