Wednesday Grid Update, 10/2

Will Rohan Gaines and D'Arthur Cowan play bigger roles in the Arkansas game plan this week at Florida?

Arkansas is getting healthy, but Chris Ash wouldn't reveal if there would be a lineup change at strong safety where Rohan Gaines may now be at 100 percent.

Ash, the defensive coordinator and safety coach, was asked after Wednesday's practice if Gaines was taking over for Alan Turner, a productive player at strong safety while Gaines battled back from a knee injury.



"Alan has done a good job and has made a lot of tackles," Ash said. "Rohan is back and got good reps this week in practice. We'll see."

Meanwhile, head coach Bret Bielema said on his radio show Wednesday night wide receiver D'Arthur Cowan, battling back from foot surgery in August, is closer to 100 percent.

"He's in the game plan," Bielema said. "Honestly, he has a screw in his foot and last week he was about 75 percent. I think he's better this week, but probably not 100 percent yet. Before he was hurt, he was our punt returner and in on some other things."

Bielema was asked about his decision to insert freshmen Denver Kirkland and Dan Skipper at guard last week. He said some of it had to do with energy.

"I think sometimes want to is as important as anything," Bielema said. "I saw a lot of energy when they were in on the field goal block against Rutgers and they pushed the guards back. That was what got me to thinking. They both jumped around like a couple of school girls after the block. I thought we needed that energy in the huddle."

Ash said practices this week have been outstanding, but he doesn't hold as much stock after seeing the same thing last week and not so good performance in games.

"Practices haven't been the issue," Ash said. "We have to take it to the game field. All judgment is on game performances. I want to see it on the game field."

The issue last week as far as giving up the run in the second half was not anything fantastic by Texas A&M runners. Ash said it was mistakes in run fits and tackling. Have they worked more on tackling this week?

"We do that every week, but we added a few more drills this week," Ash said. "To be frank, we had issues on run fits and gap assignments. One play it was a defensive lineman, the next a linebacker and then the next it was a defensive back."

Linebacker Braylon Mitchell said it was a case of focusing eyes in the wrong place.

"It was too much worry about Johnny Manziel," Mitchell said. "Our eyes were on the quarterback. We let him take away from our game plan and that's always to stop the run."

Florida isn't a spread team. The Gators have been strictly under center with their quarterback. They are more of a downhill running team than what the Hogs have played. "They definitely run the ball straight at you," Mitchell said. "We have to focus on the right keys. There are times that the running backs tell you where the ball is going. Sometimes the key is on the offensive linemen. They will tell us where the play is headed. We've got to keep our eyes on our keys."

Defensive tackle Robert Thomas said it's the little details that hurt the Hogs last week in stopping the run.

"It's the same emphasis every week, being gap sound and playing the right fits," Thomas said. "We got away from that at times last week. We'd have a guy out of their spot here and there. When you are not in your gap, great teams make great plays out of that mistake and that's what happened to us last week."

Defensive end Trey Flowers said the defensive front -- linemen and linebackers -- didn't like the idea that a safety led the team in tackles.

"If that's happening, we let someone slip through," Flowers said. "We can't let that happen. It tells us we aren't doing our job."

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