Arkansas practiced in extensive heat on Tuesday as it prepares for Saturday night's match-up against Louisiana-Monroe.
Paul Petrino will get senior wide receiver Cobi Hamilton back on Saturday just in time for a game in Little Rock.
Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino was pleased with how the team looked on Tuesday.
“We worked real hard today, out there grinding,” Petrino said. “We've had hot days the last two days in practice. Our intensity has been well and and we've gone out and worked very hard to improve. That's something we've got to continue to do for the next two days.”
Senior Cobi Hamilton has always played well in Little Rock and will get another chance on Saturday to have a big game in War Memorial Stadium. Hamilton was limited to two catches in the season opener after suffering an injury early in the contest.
“He's real anxious,” Petrino said. “He has had such a great spring and a great fall. He looked anxious the last two days and is running around full-speed. He looks like he's ready to go so hopefully we can get him a whole bunch of catches this weekend.
“I am aware of [Hamilton playing well in Little Rock]. He had two big games when I was here. I remember watching it on TV and I said 'there's Cobi lighting it up in Little Rock again.''
“I thought Brandon Mitchell showed off,” Petrino said. “He has made those plays all camp. He has done a good job. It gives us good confidence that other guys will step up and make plays. The more studs you've got to feed the better off you are.”
Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Grady Ollison worked some at guard in the game on Saturday as well as some duty at fullback on the goal line. Petrino said the staff is very high on Ollison.
“He's a great athlete,” Petrino said. “As soon as we get enough weight on him he should play on Sunday's for a very long time. He's got great feet and I think he's working hard and he has bought in. He's just someone we've got to keep putting more weight on and until we put that weight on him let's try to find a couple of roles for him so he can help us. One of them is playing fullback.”
Petrino said the Warhawks are a good team on the defensive side of the football. He has been impressed with their scheme.
“They're a good defensive team,” Petrino said. “Two years ago, it was midway through the third quarter and we only had seven points on them. We've got to step up and be ready to play. Get ready to go win a game.
“They like to blitz you every single formation and every single situation of the game. They're about 68- to 70-percent blitz. They are feast or famine. Bring it on and light them up. We want teams to pressure us. If they blitz us on every down this week we might throw it on every play. If they put 10 guys around the ball we're going to throw it.”
Petrino said the offense played well in the season opener scoring 56 points, but still feels there's plenty of room for improvement.
“I think No. 1 we've got to take care of the football better,” Petrino said. “That's something that killed us the last game. If we don't turn the ball over we score 70 points. No. 2, we've just got to get more consistent on every single play. Know the exact details of our position. We're trying real hard at going out every day and executing in practice.”
The offensive line was breaking in three new starters last week, but Petrino felt they played well as a unit.
“I thought they did good,” Petrino said. “I thought they played good, but we can improve. We want to be great, but (quarterback) Tyler (Wilson) only got sacked once and that shouldn't have happened. That's our best guy (center Travis) Swanson that got beat on that one and that doesn't happen very often. That was positive. I thought we run blocked pretty well, but that's something we can keep improving on.
“Swanson and (guard Alvin) Bailey need to be dominant then the other three need to just keep improving to get to where they can be real good. When that happens, I think we've got a chance to be a real good unit. They go out and grind everyday and work hard everyday.”