Hogs Begin Bowl Preparations

FAYETTEVILLE -- Except for Darren McFadden, who is in New York for tonight's Heisman ceremonies, all Razorbacks were present and accounted for when Capital One Bowl preparations began in Walker Pavilion on Friday night.

That includes freshman quarterback Mitch Mustain, who had little to say about the "Year of the Dog", a new book which contains a few unfavorable quotes by Mustain about UA coach Houston Nutt.

"It's not something I want to get into," Mustain said. "People have their opinions about it."

Similarly, Nutt said, "I don't worry about a book or what it says about me. I don't worry about that at all. I know how things can be said, or construed the wrong way."

In fact, Nutt said Mustain would "absolutely" have a "great opportunity to play" against Wisconsin on Jan. 1.

Both Mustain and quarterback Casey Dick threw the ball well in a practice mostly geared for younger players.

"I thought we had a good day today," Mustain said. "I got some good reps."

He said he anticipated continuing to get a good amount of practice time, as he did in the week before the Florida game.

"I've been anxious to get in the last couple of games, but that's not my decision," Mustain said. "It's been a good learning experience. I'm grateful for the time I did play (this season). I hope I can capitalize on that and get better in the off season."

Nutt, who will entertain recruits again today before flying to New York for the Heisman ceremonies, said, "This practice was what we've been missing the last two years -- the excitement of teaching and fundamentals. We zeroed in on all the redshirt freshmen. They're so hungry and excited, because they've been on the scout team all year and now they're getting coached."


McFadden (strained Achilles), Felix Jones (ankle), Antwain Robinson (knee) and Keith Jackson (ankle) should all be ready to practice in some fashion when the Hogs resume on Wednesday. They will practice daily from that time through Dec. 21, then assemble in Orlando, Fla., Christmas night.

Fullback Peyton Hillis (bruised thigh) received treatment during Friday's practice and was still limping, though not as noticeably as last week.

"Hopefully he'll be ready Wednesday," Nutt said.


Rod Coleman has been moved from split end to the secondary, where he was "coached" by cornerback Chris Houston on Friday. Linebacker Sam Olajubutu and tight end Wes Murphy also helped younger players during the workout.


Armedia Thomas, mother of Houston Nutt's wife Diana, died Thursday morning in Edmond, Okla. The Nutt family will attend the funeral on Monday in Oklahoma City.

Houston Nutt thanked those who have sent condolences.

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