Arkansas Arrives In Dallas

Arkansas arrives in Dallas on Wednesday to continue preparations for its Jan. 1 Cotton Bowl date with Missouri.

DALLAS — Arkansas' football players strolled into the lobby of the Hyatt Regency on Wednesday afternoon with their luggage in tow.

Running back Felix Jones walked around with a camcorder, capturing the moments leading up to perhaps his final game with the Razorbacks.

And Arkansas interim coach Reggie Herring met with his players despite feeling the effects of a cold he came down with during the team's five-day Christmas break.

It's official: The Hogs have arrived in Dallas to resume their preparations for the Cotton Bowl.

"Everybody's here in great shape, in good spirits," Herring said after a brief team meeting in the hotel. "They've had a good Christmas. They're focused and ready to represent the University of Arkansas."

As expected, there were a few players who arrived late because of bad weather and delays with their flights to Dallas.

Herring said all but four or five players showed up on time, and those that were late notified Arkansas' coaching staff in advance. Fullback Peyton Hillis was among the handful of players who were held up because of traveling problems.

But all the players are expected to be in town by 10:30 a.m. today to participate in the Razorbacks' first bowl practice in Dallas.

"(The late players) have all called in, so everybody's alive and well. That's the main thing," Herring said. "They'll all get here eventually."

Arkansas' players appeared to be in good spirits Wednesday after reuniting for the first time since they broke following a practice on Dec. 20. The layoff was their longest break since before the season started.

The players joked around in the lobby of the hotel, and the assistant coaches caught up after being away for the past few days.

But Herring said he hopes it doesn't take his team a few days to get back into the swing of things, especially since its date with No. 7 Missouri is only five days away. The Razorbacks will face the Tigers at 10:40 a.m. Tuesday in the Cotton Bowl (FOX).

"I just met with the team, and I told them we came down here with one goal and one goal only and that's to win the bowl game. I think it's time for Arkansas to end this drought of not winning a bowl game," Herring said. "It's our job as coaches.

"We'll get their attention very quick (this) morning. We'll go out there in full pads, and we'll get after it pretty good."

Coincidentally, Arkansas has not won a bowl game since beating Missouri 27-14 in the 2003 Independence Bowl. The Razorbacks have lost four of their past five bowl games, giving them an 11-21-3 record in their bowl history.

Herring said most of Arkansas' game plan for the Cotton Bowl was implemented before the team broke for Christmas. The focus over the next few days will simply be to fine-tune what has already been installed.

"We pretty much had nine or so practices of installing the game plan and working out the kinks," Herring said. "Now what we're doing, it's polish, making sure we're dotting the ‘I's' and crossing the ‘T's'."

And of course, Herring said he wants the players to be on their best behavior and avoid any embarrassing incidents during their stay in Dallas leading up to the bowl game.

"We challenged them to represent themselves, their family and their university," Herring said. "And we expect them to do it well."

Reggie Herring talks with reporters.

Darren McFadden and teammates at a team meeting.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories