FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Friday afternoon, Arkansas football players will go through their typical pregame meetings in the Frank Broyles Athletic Center, get dressed in the locker room and jog out to the game field by position group.
After the usual pregame drills, there will be a kickoff, followed by a 60-play script of offensive, defensive and special teams plays — some run-of-the-mill, some off-the-wall.
It’s all part of coach Bret Bielema’s “mock game,” designed to get his players — especially the newcomers and younger, inexperienced ones — at least somewhat accustomed to the gameday experience.
Arkansas opens its 2016 season against Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Sept. 3, eight days after the mock game.
Bielema said that some of the atypical plays the Razorbacks will experience Friday include kickoffs following safeties, taking a safety on punts, blocked kicks, and various end-of-game scenarios.
But Bielema was reminded of another good reason to have a “mock game” after taking his team earlier this week to watch “Greater,” the feature film about Arkansas legend Brandon Burlsworth.
“I think about when we were watching the movie ‘Greater’ the other night, and it showed a clip of Burlsworth on the sideline,” Bielema said. “He’s smiling and waving at the camera.
“I mean, that doesn’t happen. You can see how it would. A kid on the field for the first time, waving at mom and dad in the stadium. You go over, ‘Hey, all eyes are on the field at all times.’
“It’s really a pretty good learning experience for everybody.”