The Golden Hurricane run a hurry-up, no-huddle offense, confusing opponents with quick substitutions and quick snaps. To mimic Tulsa, the Razorbacks' scout team used two different units of quarterbacks (Ryan Mallett and Jim Youngblood), running backs and wide receivers.
"The offensive line got to the line quickly and stayed there," Petrino said. "We wanted them there ‘right now.' Then we had the two groups in two different huddles. They were running off plays very quickly.
"It looks a little chaotic when you are doing it that way. And it cuts down on the amount of coaching you can do on the field. But we've compensated by doing a little more video study and going over things in the meeting room."
Petrino refused to discuss injuries after Thursday's practice. When asked about the status of Arkansas defensive end Adrian Davis (knee) and offensive tackle Ray Dominguez (ankle), Petrino responded with a vague answer.
"We're going to be down a few guys, and we're not going to talk much about that," Petrino said. "We're going to talk about the guys that are playing. Guys just have to step up and play."
Davis injured his knee and Dominguez injured an ankle in Saturday's loss to Ole Miss. Offensive guard Grant Cook, who twisted an ankle against the Rebels, already had been ruled out of Saturday's game. Freshman safety Elton Ford suffered a season-ending neck injury in the Ole Miss game.
Tulsa averages the most total yards of any team in college football (624.7 yards), and the Golden Hurricane do so with a balanced attack. Casual fans may think the hurry-up, no-huddle scheme used by coach Todd Graham and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is pass-heavy.
But that just isn't true. The Golden Hurricane rank fifth nationally in passing offense (357.7) and seventh in rushing offense (267).
"That's the biggest key, their ability to do both," Petrino said. "They have the read plays out of it, and the quarterback can run. And the misdirection. That's the thing that's concerning, their misdirection and reverses."
Tarrian Adams leads Tulsa with 643 yards on the ground. But the Golden Hurricane's next five leading rushers, including Nashville's A.J. Whitmore, all average at least 6.9 yards per carry.
Defensive coordinator Willy Robinson said the fact Tulsa lines up differently on most plays makes its running attack even more potent.
"They have plenty (of formations)," Robinson said. "It's only about six basic formations, but what they do in those six is plenty of motion. And they change their personnel. You have to recognize a lot within those six formations."
Fans may have noticed the scene behind the Razorbacks' bench during Arkansas' last-minute drive in last Saturday's loss to Ole Miss. On the north side of the bench area, sophomore kicker Shay Haddock booted footballs into a net. On the south side, sophomore kicker Alex Tejada did the same.
Apparently, Tejada is back in the mix at kicker. Petrino said he has been happy with Tejada's work ethic since Haddock took over for the former starter. He said that Tejada has "kicked fairly well" on kickoffs and that he wouldn't hesitate to use Tejada on long field-goal attempts.
"He's working hard on getting everything turned around," Petrino said. "He's just sitting there waiting for his next opportunity for a field goal. He's been doing a real nice job in practice. He's been working real hard on his technique and being able to relax and see the ball go through.
"His time will come again and I expect him to do well when it does."
Petrino hopes to see more constant output from receiver Greg Childs the rest of the season. The 6-foot-4 freshman from Warren caught two passes for 61 yards Saturday against Ole Miss, including a 22-yard score late in the fourth quarter.
He has three games with at least 61 yards receiving and five games with less than 12, including three catch-less contests. Petrino said Childs' opportunities will go up as his knowledge of Arkansas' offense increases.
"We're trying to keep it as simple as we can for him but still get him in there enough to utilize all his talent," Petrino said.
Junior receiver Lucas Miller hadn't caught a pass since Sept. 20 before his two receptions for 17 yards against Ole Miss. His touchdown catch cut the Rebels' lead to 20-14 in the fourth quarter.
Petrino said Miller, who missed time because of a concussion, is a steady receiver who was dearly missed.
"The one thing you know about Lucas is he's going to work hard to get open and he's got great hands," Petrino said. "It was good to have him back and being effective."
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