Razorbacks Watch

FIRST DOWN: Breeding Gets Nod At Punter Heading into this week, Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino had resolved most of the position battles that had been going on throughout preseason camp.

Punter, however, was one of the last starting jobs up for grabs. Turns out, walk-on Dylan Breeding has gotten the nod over junior Briton Forester.

Petrino said Thursday that Breeding will be Arkansas' starting punter for Saturday's season opener against Missouri State after the freshman showed in practice that he could be consistent.

"He's going to start out, and he'll be our first guy out there to punt," Petrino said of Breeding. "I like them both, but he had a little bit better last two weeks — more consistent and got more hang time. So we're going to throw him out there in the fire and see how he does."

Forester was considered the favorite to get the nod at punter because of his experience kicking at Hawaii. In fact, Arkansas special teams coordinator John L. Smith recently said it would be difficult to rely on a true freshman like Breeding to punt in the season opener.

Breeding has shown in practice that he has a strong leg, though like Forester, he has been inconsistent at times.


• Arkansas will pay Missouri State $325,000 for Saturday's season opener in War Memorial Stadium, according to a report in the Springfield News-Leader. Arkansas officials refused to give the amount of the payout and redacted the figure from a copy of its contract with Missouri State, which was obtained by The Morning News through a Freedom of Information Act request.

• Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said sophomore Joe Adams continued to show Thursday that he has gotten over his nagging right hamstring injury. Adams is listed as the starting "W" receiver and will be the team's primary punt returner.

"He was full speed. He ran down the field, made a lot of good catches," Petrino said. "I was happy with what we saw. He'll be ready to go."

• Petrino reaffirmed that backup quarterback Tyler Wilson will play Saturday, though he didn't provide any details on how the redshirt freshman will be used. Petrino said in the spring that he was considering the idea of having Wilson replace starter Ryan Mallett at the start of the second quarter.

"He'll be in there," Petrino said of Wilson. "You'll see him in there."

INSIDE SCOOP: Petrino Needs Helping Hand

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said he's unsure if his players will exchange pregame handshakes with Missouri State's players on Saturday.

The American Football Coaches Association has asked that all college football teams playing this weekend have their players shake hands at midfield before the game as a sign of good sportsmanship.

"We've tried to contact Missouri State about it. (We) have not been able to contact with them, so I'm not sure if we're doing it or not," Petrino said. "I didn't know that we had a problem with sportsmanship. I thought that there was great sportsmanship shown after the games."

Arkansas wouldn't be the only Southeastern Conference school to skip the pregame handshake.

Georgia and Oklahoma State have decided to not follow the request after OSU coach Mike Gundy said earlier in the week that the pregame handshake could lead to an incident.

Petrino, for one, doesn't understand the idea of having both teams shake hands before the game instead of afterward.

Said Petrino: "I'm not sure what the point is."

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