Holliday Simply Outran Razorbacks
"We knew how fast he is," Arkansas special teams coach James Shibest said. Hogs coach Houston Nutt affirmed on Sunday, "I was over there on the sidelines when coach Shibest told our guys, ‘Don't relax.' Our guys were pumped up." Shibest was asked after the game if he had considered having Hogs kickoff man Brian Vavra use a deep onside kick or even a squib kick to prevent a long return in that situation. "No, because Brian had done a great job kicking off deep," Shibest said. "But it's a play we'd like to have back if we could." Former Arkansas coach Lou Holtz, who sometimes spent 45 minutes a day on special teams work, said as an ESPN analyst last week that he had been surprised by the number of long kickoff returns in college football this season. Holtz said he employed three safeties on kickoff coverage, but that he had seen several teams lose containment after the returner reached his own 30-yard line this season. Nutt said about Holliday's return, "We got out-leveraged on that side of the field." Linebacker Adrian Davis, cornerback Jerell Norton and Vavra appeared to have the best chances to hem Holliday in. Nutt noted that speedy free safety Michael Grant had served as Arkansas' safety valve on kickoff returns before being injured this season. "He saved a bunch of runs," Nutt said. HILLIS A QUESTION MARK Arkansas fullback Peyton Hillis, who did not suit up for Arkansas' last two games because of a injured right thigh, did travel to Little Rock with his family for the LSU game. Nutt said he didn't know if Hillis would be able to play against Florida this week. "It's a deep bruise," Nutt said. "I'll know more on Monday or Tuesday." Nutt said Hogs strongside linebacker Matt Hewitt (strained knee) was not 100 percent against LSU, but he said, "I'm glad we have him, because we're so thin (at linebacker)." Nutt did say that Sam Olajubutu had played about as well as any linebacker he had coached since arriving in Arkansas nine seasons ago. NUTT ON SECURITY Nutt was asked on a teleconference Sunday if he had been concerned about his job security before this season. "I'm not wired that way," Nutt said. "My contract says 2011." Nutt also said, "I've been wanting to hand coach (Frank) Broyles a Southeastern Conference (trophy) for a long time." Earlier, in his weekly conference with local media, Nutt deflected a question about Miami's possible interest in him. "I'm so focused on this year, especially this (Saturday's) game, that it would be ridiculous for me ... for a school to contact me, when it takes away from our team," Nutt said. "It would not be doing the job justice when there's a game as big as this week's SEC Championship game. I'm focusing on the Razorbacks and how much better we can get in preparation against Florida." BOOK STILL UNREAD Both Nutt and Florida coach Urban Meyer said they had not read Gus Malzahn's book about the no-huddle offense. But Nutt did say, "I will read it eventually." Meyer, who has studied Malzahn's high school career some, said he had gotten some new ideas from watching Arkansas' Wildcat package the last few weeks, but had actually dabbled with variations of it for six years. Nutt said, "I think you'll see more teams trying to put the ball in the best player's hands." The Hogs may add a Wildcat pass or two this week for Darren McFadden, who Nutt believes will make it to New York as a Heisman finalist. Nutt added, "Felix Jones is not far behind him. The higher the level of competition, the better Darren and Felix play." MEYER AN ADMIRER Meyer, who deems the SEC the toughest league around, said he was actually impressed with Arkansas' 2005 team when he looked at Arkansas-Georgia film last year. "I thought Arkansas had a heckuva team," Meyer said. "You admire teams that play that hard." Nutt said he had never met Meyer before Meyer got the Florida job last year. "I met him at Destin, Fla., for the SEC meetings," Nutt said.
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