After an unexpected open date gave players two days off, Arkansas returned to the practice field with a long, tough workout Sunday night under the lights in Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The 2-0 Razorbacks play host to Alabama at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
"We had a chance to get our bodies fresh and so we had a good workout tonight," Arkansas defensive end Adrian Davis said. "We had some time off and had a chance to spend yesterday getting treatment and we were ready to get back out here."
For Davis, a native Texan, it was a tough change when Hurricane Ike postponed the trip to Austin this weekend. But he said the team switched gears to Alabama.
"That's the way it was and that's the way we had to do it," Davis said. "I was looking forward to Texas and a trip back home. It just didn't work out. We'll have to wait for that. We switched real quick to get started on Alabama."
The junior defender said it didn't take much film to know what to expect from the Alabama offense.
"That's a real physical offense," he said. "They have physical backs who run hard and they have a very physical offensive line. We know what we are going to get with Alabama. We have to be ready for them and try to match their tempo."
Defensive line play was mentioned as a drawback in the opener, but seemed to improve in the second game. Head coach Bobby Petrino mentioned Davis as a bright spot in the second week.
"I just tried to put more pressure on the quarterback," Davis said. "That's what the coaches asked of me and that was my focus.
"We worked hard on improving our rush. We worked hard on our technique and using our hands. We just have to keep getting better."
Davis said a rotation at defensive end with Jake Bequette, Antwain Robinson and Damario Ambrose was a key, too.
"We kept our rotation going more last week and that kept us fresh," Davis said. "We know that you have someone ready to come in for you and that helps add to your effort. You know you are going to get a rest."
Tight end Andrew Davie saw the same thing on the other side of the ball. He said it's a typical Nick Saban-coached defense.
"It's a strong defense with no weakness, what you always see in a Coach Saban defense," Davie said. "We will have to have 11 doing their job to be successful."
Alabama has been particularly good against the rush this year, something Davie said the Hogs know.
"They have Alabama guys who seem to be bred to play that way," Davie said. "But we will have to run the ball and that means we have to pound away against them. We need that mindset in practice all week."
Davie said last year's near miss at Tuscaloosa is still burned in his memory banks.
"Yeah, I do remember that one pretty well," he said. "We fought and fought and had to grind to get the lead and we had a chance to win. Things just didn't go our way at the end. I think we all remember that game."
Davis added, "It was a hard game to lose because we'd fought back so well."
Davie said it was a good practice Sunday night.
"It was nice and cool, finally football type of weather," he said. "We were out here under the lights and it was a lot of fun. We just tried to come out and work on our execution and the game plan. We flew around and had a good workout."
Sunday grid update, 9/14
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