A Second Chance To Prepare For One Game

FAYETTEVILLE — Monday felt a bit like Groundhog Day. Everything that had happened two weeks ago was oddly played out for a second time.

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino was again asked about facing seventh-ranked Texas, and his players spent another Monday afternoon watching film on the Longhorns.

Not surprisingly, Texas coach Mack Brown felt a sense of deja vu as he began preparing for the second time this season to host Arkansas in Austin.

"We've already had the Arkansas press conference once," Brown said. "So I guess we can have it again and rewind."

Rewind is exactly what the Razorbacks (2-1) and Longhorns (3-0) have had to do over the past day to get ready for a game that was supposed to have been played 10 days ago.

Arkansas was originally scheduled to renew its old Southwest Conference rivalry with Texas on Sept. 13. But three days before kickoff, officials from both schools decided to postpone the game because of Hurricane Ike.

In a sense, this is a second chance for both teams to prepare for one another. And the change in plans has at least made it easier on everyone heading into Saturday's 2:30 p.m. makeup game in Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

"We had a game plan in place for Arkansas two weeks ago before Ike," Texas running back Chris Ogbonnaya said. "Now I'm sure we are going to tweak it a little bit and change a few things."

Monday is typically the day when Arkansas' players get their first chance to study film of their next opponent. But they watched footage of Texas two weeks ago when they thought the Longhorns — not No. 8 Alabama — were next on the schedule.

The only additional film the Razorbacks had to study on Monday was of Texas' 52-10 win over Rice last Saturday. They had already seen everything else.

"We pretty much know what they're going to do. We know they're going to throw some other things out there," Arkansas running back Michael Smith said. "But our preparation for them will probably intensify a couple notches.

"But as far as are they going to do something totally too much different? We don't really think so. I think we'll be OK."

Arkansas' coaches have had a scouting report on the Longhorns for the past two weeks. By now, they know all about Texas quarterback Colt McCoy and how new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp likes to blitz.

The Razorbacks even spent two days earlier this month practicing for Texas before the game was postponed.

In fact, Petrino said Monday that he went back and watched the footage of those two practices to help him prepare for Saturday's much anticipated game in Austin.

"One thing we want to make sure that we do is utilize the two practices that we've already had. So we didn't go and erase all the things that we've already worked (on for Texas)," Petrino said.

"We just erased some of it, added a little bit, but we want to make sure that we carry over from those two practices."

Of course, the extra preparation isn't necessarily an advantage for the Razorbacks. As Petrino noted after last Saturday's 49-14 loss to Alabama, Texas also had a few days to practice for Arkansas before Hurricane Ike postponed the game.

"We'll just use that extra week. They had that same extra week of preparation that we had," McCoy said. "We'll just go back to work on them."

Apparently, preparing a second time for Arkansas could be even simpler than that. "You can basically take what I said last time and just repeat it," Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo joked.

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