Hurricane Watch

Arkansas may not be going to Texas this weekend, but there are plenty of players who will continue to keep a close eye on Hurricane Ike as it hits the state.

Arkansas has 23 players from Texas and a handful of Razorbacks have family members who will be affected by the storm, which is scheduled to hit the coast Saturday.

For instance, cornerback Shedrick Johnson said his family has been forced to evacuate their home in Sweeny, which is south of Galveston and 20 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico.

"They pretty much made the whole county, especially Sweeny, evacuate and came door-to-door asking people to leave," Johnson said. "My family was one of the ones that had to get up out of there."

Linebacker Wendel Davis (Sweeny), defensive end Adrian Davis (Rosenberg) and cornerback Tramain Thomas (Winnie) are also from areas in the storm's path.

"It's a concern for everyone," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "Not only the guys on our team, but guys that we're recruiting. You hope that everyone gets out of there, the evacuation happens on time, (the hurricane) slows down or breaks up as quick as possible."

Johnson said his family left Sweeny on Wednesday night and headed to Austin where they'll stay with relatives.

Johnson was expecting to see them in Austin this weekend anyway before the Texas-Arkansas game was rescheduled for Sept. 27. But he doesn't mind a two-week delay as long as his family is safe through the storm.

"I want to be down there, but I believe they're safe," he said. "As long as they're safe, then I'm fine being here."



Special Effort

Arkansas did use practice time Thursday to continue working on special teams, trying to recover from the blunders committed against Louisiana-Monroe.

Sophomore kicker Alex Tejada has handled most of the kicking duties this week in his attempts to rebound from missing two field goals and an extra point and booting a kickoff out of bounds. Petrino also said the coaching staff has made some personnel changes.

"I think we improved," Petrino said. "We're putting some new guys out there that are coming back and have experience doing it. So I'm hoping that will help us.

"We've been kicking the ball better. But there's only one way to go on that one."



Hogs Were Ready

Defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard said he's a little disappointed the Razorbacks won't play the Longhorns in Austin on Saturday. The junior was confident the Razorbacks were ready to take on No. 8 Texas.

"I think we had a well-prepared week," Sheppard said. "I think if we were to go out and play Saturday we would've done a great job. That's not going to happen, but we're going to keep the momentum going to next week."



No South Texas

Hurricane Ike's presence on the Texas coast will mean that Arkansas won't be able to send any coaches to watch high school games in that area this weekend.

Petrino said coaches will still travel to other games.

"We've got some guys that are heading up north a little bit and guys are heading down to Florida," Petrino said. "A couple of guys (will be) here in the state. You can only have seven (coaches) out, but we're taking advantage and getting all seven out to watch games."

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