Arkansas got a break from the weatherman as cooler temperatures arrived in Faytteville just in time for the afternoon workout Saturday. Temperatures were in the lower 80s as the Hogs conducted a two-hour workout on the grass practice fields outside.
"The guys were moving around pretty good with the cooler weather," said Houston Nutt. "They had a bounce in their steps and we got a lot done."
The Hogs got out of their usual afternoon conditioning run when placekicker Brennan O'Donohoe nailed all five fields goals from 35 yards to end the practice.
"If he'd missed, then we were running gassers," Nutt said. "So Brennan is the hero with the team right now."
David Carlton hit four of five, but there were no gassers riding on his kicks. Nutt said the situation may be reversed after the next workout.
Left tackle Bo Lacy suffered what is believed to be a mild ankle sprain late in the workout.
"I don't think it's much," Nutt said. "I think he just rolled it. We'll have to see."
The Hogs will practice at 4:30 p.m. Sunday and then don full pads on Monday when two-a-days resume.
There were a couple of highlights in the afternoon.
Early in pass skeleton, Tarvaris Jackson reached back for a little extra on a deep seam. Shelton Parker, the free safety, broke on the ball and appeared to have a bead on it, but couldn't get there. And, Steven Harris, the wide receiver coming back from ACL reconstruction, was the intended receiver. He sliced behind Parker, and reached up to grab the ball with his arms stretched high, and caught Jackson's rocket with his two hands, and then crashed to the grass with the ball. James Shibest and the rest of the wideouts sprinted the 40 yards down field as Harris got off the ground still clutching his reception. It was an aswesome catch.
Another highlight came at the start of the workout, in a bull-in-the-ring drill. That is a drill where an offensive player and a defensive player line up opposite and they lock into a drill where they pump their legs in a chest-to-chest battle with arms locked. The defense pretty much dominated the offense. The one-on-one battle I thought was entertaining was with James Johnson against Tony Ugoh. Johnson grabbed Ugoh, spun him around and slung him to the ground in a pin wrestling move. The defenders mobbed him. I think this is a situation where Johnson is getting closer and closer to becoming a player that will see action. Ugoh is doing fine. It's just a case where Johnson is stepping up. I was interested to see that, and think that James Johnson is going to be in the two-deep (perhaps passing Pervis Osborne) in the next few days.
Eddie Jackson stretches before Saturday's afternoon workout.
Ken Hamlin found a nice place to hang his gloves during warmups.
The defensive backs stretch in warmups.
Each workout starts with stretching with the offense (red) on one end of the field and the defense (white) on the opposite end.
Photos by Clay Henry