Razorbacks Watch

FIRST DOWN: Harris Re-energized On Return To First Team Arkansas senior Matt Harris knew Friday's final scrimmage, which amounted to a mock game, was a make or break moment for himself.

After the free safety was demoted from the first team to the second a week ago, Harris challenged himself to show his coaches and teammates he was better than what he'd previously shown in practices.

"I just went out there Friday and played like I was going to play against Missouri State or Georgia," Harris said. "I knew if I had a good scrimmage, I thought I could get my spot back. I never thought negatively though — if you're out there competing and have a bad mental mindset, you're already number two."

Harris, who started four games last season and tied for third on the team with 56 tackles, including 46 solo stops, said spending two days on the second team was something he needed.

"This staff has tried to make an emphasis from last year, that nobody had a safe spot and that we all had to work for everything we got," Harris said. "(The coaches) brought in some good freshmen and it really pushed everyone to get better; it made the whole team better as a whole."

Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson said Harris' demotion was something that was necessary to keep him mentally focused.

"(Harris) was challenged and he responded," Robinson said. "We had a lot of guys that did that once they were kind of put down on the second level, and all of a sudden they responded and assured us that this is still important to them."


• Rudell Crim said he's really looking forward to his first game as a Razorback, simply because of what his teammates have been telling him thus far.

"I know Razorback fans are loud and crazy, and I love that," Crim said. "I can't wait to run through the ‘A' and just get this season started."

• Robinson sounded impressed with Missouri State tight end Clay Harbor, who was named an Associated Press second-team All-American last year after leading the Bears with 40 catches for 457 yards.

"Trying to sum him up with someone we practice against every day, until we lost Chris (to an ankle injury), it was Chris Gragg," Robinson said. "He's got size. He's added 20 pounds. He's got vertical stretch. He can do it all."

• During his radio show Wednesday night, Bobby Petrino said the trio of Jerry Franklin, Wendel Davis and Freddy Burton will "start out" at linebacker against Missouri State.


When London Crawford steps on the field in Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium on Saturday night, the memories will almost immediately start flooding in his mind.

Although Arkansas' surprising victory against Louisiana State at the end of last season was more than nine months ago, Crawford said the game feels like it was played "just yesterday."

Undoubtedly ending last season with an important win in Little Rock and starting this season at the same place will only be beneficial for the Razorbacks, Crawford said.

"It's going to be great," said Crawford, who caught the game-winning touchdown against the Tigers. "Those fans are wired up. Everybody's ready to go. It's going to be great to play down there in Little Rock to build off last year. I just can't wait to get out there."

Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said Crawford's play against LSU will continue to help him be confident this season.

"I think it built confidence," Petrino said. "I think that one really helped give him confidence that he can make the big play when it counts. I think that will carry over."

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