Saturday Grid Report, 8/16

Arkansas worked in shorts and shoulder pads Saturday morning, then scrimmaged for about 45 minutes in the afternoon. Cedric Cobbs dazzled with a long run.

The starters didn't see much action, but Ryan Sorahan and Cedric Cobbs didn't need much time. Sorahan was on the field for two touchdown marches, one of them thanks to a 65-yard TD burst by Cobbs.

"We had a good day for the start of two-a-days, but we had a lot of guys under the tent as you could see," said Houston Nutt. "We have some injuries."

Brandon Holmes was sandwiched between two big offensive linemen in an early drill in the afternoon and missed the scrimmage. Mark Pierce had a shoulder pop out of joint and missed the scrimmage. Jimarr Gallon sustained a broken finger, and missed as well.

Sorahan completed three of six passes in his two times on the field. He hit three nice short completions in leading the first team the length of the field. Then, Cobbs took it to the house, splitting a nice block between Shawn Andrews and Mark Bokermann with a pulling Jerry Reith adding the kickout block.

"Cedric hit the hole," Nutt said. "He's been doing that, and he's got his speed as you could see."

Matt Jones was on the field for only one possession at quarterback and did not play any as a wide receiver. Jones was two of five passing, missing Steven Harris on a couple of deep routes, and then a deep curl was batted down by the safety just as it reached the receiver.

"We gave the quarterback snaps to the younger guys and spread it around," Nutt said. "I think Ryan and Matt had about eight or nine plays each and that was all we wanted for them.

"We are trying to look at some other guys right now to see where we are for depth. I think some guys like Keith Jackson and Jeremy Harrell showed up. I think that's what I'm going to see when we look at the film, some young guys making some plays. I can tell you one thing, Tony Ugoh is really coming on and making progress. He had a very good day."

The scrimmage was dominated by the defense, with few first downs except for the brief action when Sorahan and Jones were under center.

"We had a good day, but we are a long way away," Nutt said. "We'll have another major scrimmage about midweek. We are into two-a-days now and the tough part is in front of us."

Willie Hordge, out for three workouts with a tight hamstring, returned to drills. He participated in the scrimmage, but came up empty on the one deep sideline route when the ball was thrown his way.

The Hogs finished the afternoon running sprints with a good portion of the crowd of around 1,000 still watching. Batman Carroll delighted one 7-year-old standing on the sideline when he swiped his ball cap and wore it on one sprint. The next time back, the youngster got his cap back, in sweatty conditon. He quickly put it back on his head, grinning from ear to ear.

In the morning, it was learned that David Thompson's knee injury was severe. He has a torn ACL and will undergo surgery in the next few days. It is the same exact injury sustained at this point last season by Marvin Jackson.

That was the news after practice Saturday morning. The Hogs worked for about 90 minutes in shoulder pads and shorts, prepping for the scrimmage.

Titus Peebles, transfer from Georgia Military College, joined practices, but he'll have to work in shorts for at least two days, so he won't scrimmage Saturday afternoon. His transcript arrived late Friday afternoon and he is certified as eligible.

Nutt said Chris Baker (hamstring), Willie Hordge (hamstring), Carlos Ousley (hamstring), Joseph Morton (separated shoulder) will not scrimmage because of injuries.

Offensive line coach Mike Markuson likes what he's seen of his freshman group. He said Robert Felton and Matt Gilbow are ahead of the rest, but none have disappointed.

"Felton and Gilbow have that natrual bend in their knees that enable them to play with their pads low and that's the first thing you notice," Markuson said. "And, Felton has that quick first step and punch that you want in a guard. He can make that step and pull. With Robert, you see the same footwork that you loved in guys like Tony Ugoh ... that quick step. Nate Garner and Ivora Hall are doing well, too."

Markuson continues to praise Tony Ugoh and Zak Tubbs as players making a push.

"Tony, Zak and Kyle Roper are doing great things," Markuson said. "With Tony, you see a sense of urgency that wasn't there last year. He has some intensity about him. He's learning it and getting ready to play. That's a good sign. We know that we could have to move Jerry Reith to left tackle if something happens to Bo Lacy and with Tony playing the way he is now, it makes it easy to make that move. We've got some flexibility and some depth. We've got some young players coming on. Guys like Tyler Morgan are playing well, too.

"Zak Tubbs is working hard and getting in shape. He was a little heavy when he got here, but he is doing some extra things to get in shape. He is a good player that can help us when he's in shape and he's getting there.

"We are having a good camp so far. Shawn Andrews has been great to watch so far. He's in better shape and he's just getting better and better. You can see he's ready to do something special this year. He's in a great frame of mind and he's working extremely hard every day and in every drill. He's darn good anyway, but with the way he's working, he will be something to watch this year.

"Our first group is playing hard and working like you expect from experienced players and that's a great example for our young guys."




Mike Markuson supervises a one-on-one pass rush drill.





Jeb Huckeba works free in a pass rush drill.

Photos by Clay Henry


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