Thursday Grid Update, 10/1

Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino puts his team through a Thursday on-campus workout, but Friday's will be inside the new Dallas Cowboys stadium to get the awe factor out of the way.

To get rid of the shock and awe early, the University of Arkansas football team will get Jerry World out of the way out on Friday.

The Razorbacks will leave Fayetteville at noon and go through a practice at 2:30 p.m. at the in the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium.

That will be in advance of Saturday night's inagural Southwest Classic clash with Texas A&M in the billion dollar facility.

"That is why we are doing it," Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino said. "I usually don't like to do that. I usually like to do our work here and then get on the plane and get there and let them relax for a little bit and then have our normal meetings.

"But because it is that atmosphere, it is that stadium, we are going to go down," Petrino added. "I think they are even going to turn on the jumbotron – the super jumbotron, what ever it is called. But we are not going to punt the ball. We are not going to try and hit in when we punt."

One of the keys in an Arkansas win will be the play of redshirt sophomore Ryan Mallett, who is looking to bounce back from a subpar performance in the 35-7 loss at Alabama last week.

"Ryan has done a great job," Petrino said. "He has done a great job of leading, been very focused, worked real hard at his footwork. It has been like you would like a guy to respond and how you would like a great competitor to respond."

Petrino definitely saw something great from his team's leadership this week.

"The best thing about this football team is that the attitude is good," Petrino said. "The guys have come to practice with a great attitude, they work hard in the meeting rooms and I think it is the best week we have had with the players on the team leading the other players on the team.

"The coaches have not had to do a lot of the encouraging – it has been other players on the team. That has been good. That shows pride and that they really want to get this thing right."

The Razorbacks finished up their on-campus preparations on Thursday – a workout that ended in the rain.

"We went inside and did our offense defense practice and then we came outside to do the special teams," Petrino said. "We got through punt and we got through punt block and kickoff return and when we did about the last four kickoff coverages it started to rain. We really barely got wet."

The Razorbacks did have offensive lineman DeMarcus Love – who missed practice Tuesday – go through a second straight practice and be declared good to go for the game.

"He is doing good," Petrino said. "He needed to take Tuesday off just to let the swelling (in his knee) go down, but he played the second half of that (Alabama) game and did a nice job. His knee did swell up on him, but yesterday he practiced real well and he felt better today. He has spent a lot of time this week getting ready to go. He is excited to go home and play well."

Indeed Love and 19 other Razorbacks hail from the Lone Star state.

"We have got 20 guys on our team from the state of Texas so we are excited to go down and play in the stadium and play Texas A&M," Petrino said.

Another one of those is Tramain Thomas, who is set to split time this week with Elton Ford at strong safety.

"In the second half, Ford came in and played a lot," Petrino said. "He and Thomas have been competing for it all week long – basically splitting the reps – and both of them will play. Both of them are good football players and will play."

The UA head coach is impressed with what he has seen from the Aggies even if their three opponents have combined for a 2-9 record.

"They have done a nice job in winning their first three games," Petrino said. "We have got to play well. We have got to execute and we have got to play a team game – put all three phases together.

"That's the biggest thing we have to do – put offense, defense and special teams."

Asked about conference pride and how much it matters in this SEC vs. Big 12 clash, Petrino noted he is more worried about winning a game than carrying the conference banner.

"At this point it doesn't Petrino said. "We need to go down there and get us a win – you know what I mean. It adds up probably for the conference and all that, but this is really about us going down and playing well, seeing our hard work pay off, being able to fight through tough times, stick together and go down and play well.

"I want to see us compete, play well and finish the game with a W."


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