|Updated: 1/03/2012 3:42 pm
||Published: 1/03/2012 3:37 pm
ARLINGTON, TX - The third day of the New Year saw the No. 7 Arkansas Razorbacks go through their third practice on the Cowboys Stadium turf for the 76th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.
Taking over his first game as the Razorbacks' defensive coordinator after seven seasons at Ohio State, Paul Haynes said he has been pleased with how the players have responded to him after taking the position in early December as the team tries to bring home its fourth Field Scovell Trophy in 12 Classic appearances.
"I have really appreciated them and how they have welcomed me into the family," Coach Haynes said. "It's been an easy transition. The things I have asked them to do, they do it. They've been very supportive.
"It's been a great transition. I stay busy because there's been something every single day and that's kind of been the fun part for me to get to know these guys."
Coach Haynes added that he feels the defense has worked with great focus in its three practices so far.
"The venue we are going to play in and the venue we have been practicing in, Cowboys Stadium, has been awesome," Coach Haynes said. "Our guys prepare well and I expected that from guys like this. The preparation has been good. The guys are focused; the guys are ready. We're early (in our practice week). You're always kind of worried about them getting up (for the game) but once we've stepped on that field, it's been all focus and good practices."
Haynes and five defensive starters - seniors DE Jake Bequette, LB Jerry Franklin, S/LB Jerico Nelson and S Tramain Thomas and junior DE Tenarius Wright -- stepped off the practice field Tuesday afternoon for the Razorbacks' news conference at the media headquarters hotel while the remainder of the team took time away from its bowl preparations to visit Children's Medical Center in Dallas.
Tonight, the entire team will enjoy some National Hockey League action as the Dallas Stars face the Detroit Red Wings at American Airlines Arena in Dallas. The Razorbacks get back to work Wednesday morning for another practice session at Cowboys Stadium following the final official AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic news conference featuring the two head coaches, Arkansas' Bobby Petrino and Kansas State's Bill Snyder.
The 76th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic is Friday, Jan. 6 on FOX. The telecast starts at 7 p.m., with kickoff scheduled for 7:32 p.m. Gus Johnson will handle the play-by-play duties with Charles Davis as the color analyst. Tim Brewster and former Dallas Cowboys great Daryl Johnston will serve as sideline reporters.
For the 20th consecutive year, the Classic will be heard around the world through the Westwood One Radio Network. Brad Sham, "The Voice of the Dallas Cowboys", and former UCLA head coach Terry Donahue will be on the call.