Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino addressed this weekend's game with Troy after practice Thursday, but he also took on the subject of a serious slant to the Arkansas practice fields.
First, the Troy game.
Petrino said he's not been entirely pleased with the focus and concentration this week in practice, but that the Hogs still have time to find that before Saturday night's game with Troy.
"I think that's just normal. We'll be rady to go by Saturday night."
Troy has been impressive on video.
"I think what you see when you put the video in, they are really good," Petrino said. "Our players see that. They have speed with their defense. They get after the passer. They have a passer who is real accurate. We will have to play well and our players know that."
Petrino said the Hogs would be close to full speed for this week's game. Ramon Broadway, bothered by a leg injury, should be back to normal after sitting out the last two weeks. Running back Michael Smith, also bothered by a leg injury, is back to 100 percent, too.
Petrino answered questions about what he called a "downhill slant" to the two Arkansas practice fields at his Thursday afternoon press briefing. He said because of that slant, the Hogs no longer practiced on the outdoor fields, instead working either inside Reynolds Razorback Stadium or the Walker Pavilion.
"We have some work to do on our practice field," he said. "We need to get them fixed after the season."
Petrino said that the training and conditioning staff noticed something was wrong with the field last year, mentioning that the Hogs remained leg weary throughout the season when normally tests suggested the team would be getting fresh and quicker as practices tapered.
"We do vertical jump tests every Thursday after practice," Petrino said. "They tell you if you are getting fresher. We weren't last year. In most years, your vertical jump should be going up as the season progresses. We weren't."
The cause, they determined, was the slant to the practice field.
"At least half the time, you are running up hill out there," he said. "That can't be good for your legs.
"We have done a nice job this year. Our legs have freshened up as we've gone along.
"It was important for us to learn what was going on. The first one to tell me that our field was slanted like that was (equipment manager) Tim Cheney. It's probably opening up a can of worms to talk about it. We'll figure out what to do after the season."
Petrino said Cheney has told him stories about what lies under the practice field that might lead to a problem with uneven settling which might cause the slope or slant.
"He's told me there might be old cars buried under it," Petrino said. "I guess we need to dig them up. I've noticed that some areas have settled even from last year. We need to figure it out."