Nutt works younger players

Wednesday, December 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Arkansas coach Houston Nutt is taking advantage of the added practice time afforded by the Razorbacks' trip to the Cotton Bowl to give his younger players extra instruction.

``We are still in the hitting phase right now,'' Nutt said Tuesday. ``We got a lot of good work in on the fundamentals with our younger players. When we got into the team part of practice, we really wanted to work on the game plan. Everybody has an awesome respect for Oklahoma and we know we have to be prepared.''

The Razorbacks face No. 10 Oklahoma on Jan. 1 in Dallas.

Running back Fred Talley practiced for the first time since he was suspended Nov. 29 for his involvement in a fight in a local bar. Nutt said he is still waiting to hear more about the incident before deciding whether to allow Talley to play in the bowl game.

``He's through with his finals and I just didn't want him in his dorm all day,'' Nutt said. ``He's just out getting some exercise.''

Nutt said kept his team on the field for two hours and he worked on installing plays for the bowl game.

``We kept them out here a long time today working on the game plan,'' Nutt said. ``We worked on a lot. We had really good effort early on, but we lost them a little bit at the end. But that can happen when you keep them that long. For the most part, they did a good job.''

Nutt said he will have his hands full against the Sooner defense, which finished the season allowing 13.8 points per game and 89.9 yards rushing per game.

``Oklahoma does a great job,'' Nutt said. ``It's amazing how every time we turn on game film their defense is always on the field with the other team backed up. You see a lot of their opponents backed up on their own 5- and 10-yard line. They are an awesome group.''