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Offensive Line Competition
The Morning News/Razorback Central
Posted Oct 7, 2008
Circumstances forced redshirt freshman linemen Grant Cook and Grant Freeman into the lineup during Arkansas’ 38-7 loss to Florida on Saturday. And they don’t appear ready to relinquish their roles.
Cook, a 6-foot-6, 320-pound guard, and Freeman, 6-7, 277-pound tackle, spent considerable time with the No. 1 offensive line during Tuesday’s drills in Walker Pavilion.
Cook started Saturday in place of sophomore DeMarcus Love, who injured his ankle last week in practice. Freeman played because sophomore tackle
missed Saturday’s game because was visiting his grandmother and junior Michael Aguirre suffered a leg injury on the first play and never returned.
Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said Cook and Freeman “were very competitive and tough” against Florida.
“Both of them had good practices (Tuesday),” Petrino said, revealing that they weren’t the only players fighting for a starting spot. “I think all of our spots are open. On this team, it’s a competitive situation at every position out there — maybe with the exception of Michael Smith at running back and Jonathan Luigs at center.”
The two freshmen have impressed Luigs.
“Those guys came in and really played hard,” Luigs said. “You can’t say enough about those two guys. ... I think the upside for those two is incredible.”
Tuberville Hunting Trip
Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville didn’t think twice about taking his annual hunting trip to Arkansas late last November. Most of his lifelong friends are Arkansans, so trips to the Natural State aren’t rare for the Arkansas native.
But some media outlets didn’t care about this when they reported that Tuberville was a serious candidate for the Arkansas job, partly based on his being in the state.
“I wasn’t looking and I’m not looking, but that’s just how rumors get started,” Tuberville said. “It is ironic that I go over there every year and it was reported that I was over there in Arkansas. It sells papers, I’m sure. It gets people to turn on TV sets. Bloggers had a good time.
“All the talk shows really had fun. There has got to be more to talk about than a guy going duck hunting or deer hunting. I will be going back this year. Go ahead and print it now so it won’t be a surprise.”
Coming Up With Points
Arkansas came away empty on its first two possessions Saturday, twice driving inside the Florida 33 before failing to convert on fourth down. Petrino said Tuesday the Razorbacks have to focus on not beating themselves once they cross the 50-yard line.
“A couple of times we have gotten penalties,” Petrino said. “We can’t do that. That’s when the execution has to be a lot sharper. You don’t have as much room so you have to be more accurate, more precise in everything you do and we have to bust a couple of runs when you get to that point.”
Junior receiver London Crawford said the cure is simple.
“We have to concentrate harder,” Crawford said.
• The Razorbacks’ game at Kentucky on Oct. 18 will start at 6 p.m., the Arkansas athletic department announced Tuesday. The Southeastern Conference hasn’t finalized its television schedule for that day, but an announcement is expected today. The game could still air on national television.
• Senior defensive tackle Ernest Mitchell participated in rehabilitation exercises Tuesday, six days after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. The initial timetable for Mitchell’s return was set at four to six weeks.
• Junior cornerback Jamar Love wasn’t on the practice field Tuesday. He left Saturday’s game late in the third quarter because of a hand injury but returned to the game in the fourth quarter.
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