Arkansas worked for two hours Wednesday as coaches corrected fundamentals and prepared for a pair of scrimmages that will conclude spring football drills.
"We had a good fundamental practice," Houston Nutt said. "The attitude has just been excellent the past few days. That's how they learn and that's how they get better. We're getting ready for tomorrow; we'll go for 45 minutes of practice and then scrimmage tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be where we're on the same team and you have first units against first units and we'll really get some good looks. That will be the last scrimmage before Saturday's game.
"The game is going to be a watered down, short version. It's going to be six-minute quarters and a lot of fun. We already have the teams divided and the main thing is nobody getting hurt and finishing strong. It's going to be played like a ball game for the first time in a long time - live kickoffs, kickoff return. Punt return will not be live, but everything else will be."
The Hogs were coming off an open day on Tuesday, but Wednesday was the first of four straight days. Nutt said the team would have a lengthy scrimmage on Thursday and then again on Saturday when fans have been invited for a noon kickoff.
"We've divided the teams for Saturday, but I can't remember exactly how it came out," Nutt said. "The coaches held the draft."
Nutt declined to say how the draft went, and just smiled when he was asked to reveal the No. 1 draft pick.
"We'll play it like a game on Saturday, except we won't return punts," Nutt said. "Marvin Jackson will catch the punts and we just will spot the ball there. No contact on the return man there."
Jackson is coming off knee surgery and isn't cleared for full contact. The rest of the kicking game will be live, but Nutt said they will add some field goal situations that don't exactly match the game.
"We'll have four shortened quarters and a halftime," he said. "No, we haven't decided on captains for the game."
Roy Wittke said his first impressions of Saturday's scrimmage were accurate. The film revealed that Ryan Sorahan and Matt Jones both had solid days.
"I think we were a little off on our steps with Ryan, but not a lot off," Wittke said. "He missed a couple of reads, but was okay for the most part. What you could see more than anything in the film was how good our running game looked. We were able to make some plays in the running game."
Wittke said reserve quarterbacks Rhett Lashlee and Cedric Washington still are in the learning curve.
"Rhett isn't there physically," Wittke said. "He's trying hard, but his velocity isn't there. Cedric is really raw. He's coming along, but he's still a long way. And, now he's banged up his shoulder a little."
The Hogs have three days remaining of their allotment of 15 days.
The Hogs did not do any 11-on-11 hitting on Wednesday, but they had heavy contact in a 9-on-9 middle drill with both De'Arrius Howard and Cedric Cobbs breaking solid runs. Offensive line Shawn Andrews, Dan Doughty, Jerry Reith, Bo Lacy and Mark Bokermann continued to shine in blocking drills, dominating their defensive counterparts in several segments.
Doughty continued to draw praise for his solid work in blocking drills. He's been exceptional this spring in execution of quick snaps when defensive players have jumped into the neutral zone, something that will earn the Hogs 5-yard penalties in the fall.
Andrews was exceptional in Wednesday's drills, dominating defensive end Jeb Huckeba for several impressive pancake blocks in several drills. Andrews' quickness was amazing in those drills when it appeared he outquicked Huckeba, always known for his speed and quickness. Andrews has been weighed at over 370 pounds this spring, but he was 100 percent healthy and sharp on Wednesday.
Dan Doughty waits for his turn in one-on-one drills on Wednesday.
Cedric Cobbs turned the corner in middle drills with Caleb Miller (43) in pursuit.
Jonathon Barry observes the first team in middle drills.
Chase Pressley (white jersey) works against a double-team block delivered by Mark Bokermann and Dan Doughty. Bokermann is the blocker you can see.
Tracy Rocker (right) instructs Lucas Jackson in Wednesday's workout.
Shawn Andrews (73) and Mark Bokermann block Elliott Harris.
Photos by Clay Henry