Preseason camp is over in the Ozarks. The Arkansas football team finished its final practice Thursday before the opener with a promise from the head coach on playing time for the quarterbacks.
Obviously, sophomore captain Ryan Mallett will start. However, head coach Bobby Petrino will get backup Tyler Wilson action, too.
"He'll get in; you'll see him in there," Petrino said of Wilson. "I have a plan."
That's all the head coach would say about his plan, though.
Petrino seemed more concerned about any secrets that Missouri State might be holding for his offense, than releasing his plan for QB playing time.
"Like I told the coaches, they are going to give us something that we have not practiced," Petrino said. "What that is, I'm not sure, maybe it's a three-three, maybe it's what Tulsa ran, They are definitely going to give us something that we haven't spent a lot of time practicing and we have to do a great job of seeing it, making the adjustments and going from there.
"They have two returning corners, both of them played well last year. They have a returning safety that I think was a preseason All-American and is a very good player. On the defensive front, No. 99 is a guy that we have to make sure where he is going to be. I'm not sure where he is going to line up yet, with the different moves that they have with him. They say he is going to be a defensive end, but last year he played inside so it will be interesting to see what their alignments are going to be.
"That's one thing that we have to do as an offense, we have to adjust as the game goes on. Do a great job on the sideline, be able to take the information from the sideline out on the field and execute, that's something that I'm really interested in seeing, how we do that. How we communicate from the press box to the sideline, get that information onto the field and execute."
Petrino will be watching his squad for the technique that's been taught in spring and fall drills. Will his team stay within it in the framework of a game?
"I want to see us go execute," he said. "Go do the things that we have practiced, execute the run game; execute the passing game, just like we've practiced it. Make the checks when they are there and really just have great communication, play with real good technique and fundamentals and play fast. That's the key, to play fast. We should be much faster in this game than we were in our opener a year ago simply because most everybody is back and have been through it before."
Petrino said they had a good capper to game week with the Thursday workout.
"We had a good practice today, things were sharp," he said. "Special teams were sharp, offense; defense part of it was good. The two-minute drill that we do we were executing that well, so I was happy about that.
"Now what we do is, tomorrow we get down there and have a walk through. Review what went on in today's practice, what mistakes we need to correct, do a little bit more of the goal line, short yardage stuff. Have our meetings Friday night, Saturday morning we have another walk through, use up some of the time in the day and then go to the stadium a couple of hours before kickoff."
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