FAYETTEVILLE — Defensive end Dorian Gerald is expected to travel with the University of Arkansas today for Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. game at No. 8 Texas A&M.
Gerald has not played since leaving the season opener against Georgia with an ankle injury after racking up 4 tackles and 1.5 sacks for 20 yards in losses.
Coach Sam Pittman said prior to Thursday’s practice that Gerald would be evaluated again after the workout and following pregame warmups in College Station, Texas, to determine his readiness.
Pittman also said covid-19 testing went well early in the week.
“We were good on Tuesday and we tested again this morning, so we’ll get that test result back tomorrow morning,” Pittman said. “So we’ve been good. Knock on wood that we’ll be good again and ready to go.”
Pittman said cornerback Montaric Brown has gotten in 11 practices since his upper body injury on Oct. 3, and that linebacker Bumper Pool, who sat out the Razorbacks’ 33-21 win over Ole Miss, has been practicing this week. Additionally, linebacker Deon Edwards and safety Myles Slusher are expected to be available after missing playing time.
The steady, sometimes heavy rainfall in Northwest Arkansas most of the week, which produced more than 5 inches of rain between Monday and early Thursday afternoon, chased the Razorbacks inside all week.
Coach Sam Pittman said the game-day forecast called for a clear day in College Station, so the best solution was to work in the Walker Pavilion.
“We just made a decision that we knew we could get a better practice by practicing inside, so that’s what we did,” Pittman said. “I kind of like indoor practices. I like the smell of it, the pop of it, the sound of it.”
Pittman added that if the forecast called for rain and a mucky field like it did for the Auburn game, the Razorbacks would have practiced outside more.
Coach Sam Pittman said the Razorbacks revived their physicality in practice this week to prepare for a big Texas A&M team.
“I think we kind of amped it up to be honest with you,” Pittman said. “We know we’re going to be in a physical game. We went good on good several times this week for the physicality of what we know we’re going to get Saturday night.
“Last week was kind of our week to heal up. We have been smart, obviously, with Dorian [Gerald] and Bumper [Pool] as far as that part of it goes, but the rest of the team, we banged heads pretty good this week.”
Ginger Franks, the mother of Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks, made the nearly 14-hour drive from the Florida panhandle to Fayetteville to attend the Razorbacks’ 33-21 win over Ole Miss two weeks ago.
The commitment obviously made an impression on her son, who played his high school ball in Crawfordville, Fla., south of Tallahassee in west-central Florida.
“She means everything to me,” Franks said. “That’s just a little snippet of what she does on a week-in, week-out basis for me and my brother, showing the dedication by driving 14 hours for just one weekend game and driving 14 hours right back on Sunday. She’s everything to me. That’s my mom and my dad and my brother. We’re all super close-knit.”
Inside the series
Texas A&M has won eight games in a row to pull within 41-32-3 in the all-time count against Arkansas.
The Razorbacks lead 21-10-2 in games played in Arkansas and 17-16-1 in games played in College Station, Texas, the site of Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. contest. The Aggies lead 6-3 in neutral site games, all at Arlington, Texas, in the renewed Southwest Classic.
The Razorbacks have the longest winning streak in series history, a nine-game run between 1958 and 1966 in which Arkansas outscored the Aggies 175-40 and shut them out three times.
Jimbo Fisher entered the 2020 season with a 100-32 record for an average of 10 wins per season during his 10-years as head coach at Florida State (2010-17) and Texas A&M (2018-19).
Only a handful of active FBS coaches with at least 10 years of head coaching experience can claim the hefty milestone of 10 wins per season, among them, Alabama’s Nick Saban and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney.