Thursday Grid Update, 10/10

Arkansas' Bret Bielema looks forward to matching wits with South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier this weekend in Homecoming in Fayetteville.

There are always games within the games. Bret Bielema revealed one earlier this week when he talked his relationship with South Carolina quarterbacks coach G. A. Mangus.

It came up when Bielema mentioned that he had tried to hire Mangus twice during his time at Wisconsin.

"G.A. and I have become good friends," Bielema said. "I told our defensive coaches about G.A. and that I want to compete tit for tat with G.A. and Steve Spurrier.

"I think Coach Spurrier calls a lot of the plays and has the play script. There are always things that coaches get excited about. I think our defensive coaches are that way this game."

Mangus played quarterback two years for Spurrier at Florida. This is his fifth season to coach quarterbacks under Spurrier at Carolina. He previously coached at Widener and Ursinus, both in Pennsylvania.

"G.A. and I had mutual friends in West Palm Beach, and this will sound like a joke, a coach named Jack Daniels," Bielema said. "He introduced us. They both had played for Coach Spurrier at Florida. We've gotten to know each other."

Bielema said Spurrier's influence in coaching is impressive. He compared Saturday's meeting to a memory in his first year at head coach when he went against Joe Paterno at Penn State.

"That first year, I shook hands with Coach Paterno," Bielema said. "It's one of those things you can't imagine growing up. Coach Spurrier is an icon. I didn't know him, but there have been some opportunities a couple of times to be around him more."

Bielema said there was not likely to be a friendship lost during the game.

"Yes, we compete, but I think you lose a lot more friends over recruiting than on Saturday," he said. "It's generally more about the players on Saturday. In recruiting, it can get to be about he said, she said and that can be tougher on friendships."

Bielema said Carroll Washington would start at cornerback, but that Jared Collins and D. J. Dean would also play some after Will Hines went out with a broken hand in the Florida game.

The Arkansas coach said Thursday's practice was a continuation of a good week of workouts.

"Out guys, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, have been locked in," Bielema said. "It's been extra good focus.

"Injury wise, we'll have everyone, just like I said at the start of the week, except Will Hines."

Asked what put Washington ahead of the others in the battle to fill in for Hines, Bielema said, "It probably goes back, for Carroll, when he got reps during the week after Jared Collins was hurt. The last three or four weeks he was exposed to a lot, those reps."

Bielema was asked about the belief that Jedeveon Clowney would start for South Carolina, he said, "If he starts, we know our first play."

On the Carolina receivers, led by Bruce Ellington, Bielema said, "They are kinda similar -- shifty, fast and athletic. They have been locked into their game plan on offense for a few weeks. Overall, that's been one of the most productive groups (in the SEC)."

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