Houston Nutt said the Hogs accomplished priority number one Saturday night at Reynolds Razorback Stadium. There were no serious injuries to the players in the two-deep rotation.
"We didn't want to get anyone hurt," Nutt said Saturday night after the Hogs practiced in front of a crowd estimated at around 4,500 at Fan Appreciation Day.
"We have 14 days left before we play a game. We want all of our bullets. We don't want to lose anyone at this point."
Nutt was asked if the Hogs had scrimmaged enough to be ready for the opener against Tulsa on Sept. 6.
"Our players are juniors and seniors," he said. "They've been there before. They know how to hit. We may miss a tackle in the first game, but I'd rather miss one tackle than miss a player for the whole year (because we scrimmaged more in preseason).
"We didn't tackle to the ground tonight when the first group was out there, but I thought we did some good things. I was pleased. We had a few wrong routes, but other than that we did some good things."
Quarterbacks threw four interceptions, although the only one thrown by the top two quarterbacks was by Ryan Sorahan. Nutt said a busted route contributed to that one.
"The receiver stopped running," Nutt said. "He wasn't where he was supposed to be ... where Ryan threw it."
Asked about highlights, Nutt said, "Marvin Jackson. He makes plays."
Jackson interecepted two passes. Tony Bua and Batman Carroll each grabbed one interception.
Ryan Sorahan and Matt Jones each completed passes for touchdowns, but also had plenty of incompletions in a workout that was split between individual and team segments with live passing.
Nutt did let the third teamers, freshmen and walkons scrimmage at the end of the drill and the defenses dominated that segment.
Punter Jacob Skinner and placekicker David Carlton dazzled in the sessions that included work with special teams. Skinner boomed two towering, long spirals in his three punts. Carlton hit three straight field goals in his session midway through the practice.
Nutt said the Hogs have had "a good camp, but are far from finished in their installation of the game plan for the opener.
"We are going to begin to fine tune and we still have some things to add," he said. "We'll put in the option package next week. We haven't done much of that. We will definitely sprinkle in some option.
"We are also going to work hard in our execution of the motion, formation changes and substitution packages that we have this year. I'm not going to give any thing away here, but we have some new things. But to use them, we are really going to have to work at getting in and out of the huddle with the right people and making sure we can get it done with the 25-second clock. We want to be able to do some things that make the defense think and slow down some of the things they were doing. We've got some things that will do that if we can execute them."
Asked if he knows how he will use the quarterbacks for the opener, Nutt nodded his head in the affirmative.
"I'm not telling it here, but I know right now," Nutt said. "I'm not giving anything away yet. But, I know it, yes."
Sorahan was the first quarterback to take the field when the first team opened the team portion of the drills, but Jones was first in the pass skeleton portion. Nutt said not to read anything into any of that.
"We aren't giving anything away," Nutt said. "But, I know what I'm going to do."
Saturday Grid Report, 8/23
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