Wednesday Grid Report, 9/3

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt announced the plans for Mark Pierce for Saturday's game with Tulsa.

Houston Nutt said Wednesday after practice that after a meeting with his seniors and his captains that fullback Mark Pierce was suspended for the season opener with Tulsa on Saturday.

Pierce was arrested on the weekend for disorderly conduct. Earlier in the week, Nutt said the suspension might be one half, but that has been extended to a full game.

"(The seniors) and I talked about this," Nutt said. "It's something we discussed at length. We talked about making it a one half (suspension) or a three/fourths game. Finally, I told them I thought it was best to make it for a full game. In the end, they said they agreed with me."

Brandon Kennedy will be the starter and Kyle Dickerson the backup with Pierce out for this week.

As far as Wednesday's workout, Nutt said it was a good day of polish with a lot of speed.

"We got what we needed done, and the bottom line is that it is time to go play a game," he said. "We need to play a game. There is just so much you can do and then you need to play. That's where we are.

"We'll work on two-minute plans and polish the kicking game on Thursday."

As far as kicking, it appears that David Carlton will handle kickoffs ahead of true freshman Richie McIntire. Carlton worked more with the first group in that specialty period on Wednesday. Carlton and McIntire have battled all fall for that spot.

Nutt said the passing of Matt Jones was up and down during Wednesday's drill.

"There are some periods where he throws some very good balls, and then some others where they aren't as good," Nutt said. "You'd like to see him do it well everytime, but we've come to expect that from Matt. We do know that he performs very well on game day. He wins ball games. We know that."

James Shibest said the receivers had a solid week of practice, and they did look sharp on Wednesday. Chris Baker, Richard Smith and DeCori Birmingham all hauled in deep passes Wednesday.

Asked which was the fastest of his wideouts, Shibest said, "We've got speed in a lot of areas. Steven Harris can really run, Baker is fast, so is DeCori and no matter what you say about Richard Smith's size, he can really run. Richard is as fast as any of them. We've got some speed and ability there. What you have to remember about Chris Baker is that when he's running, he is covering a lot of ground with those strides. He doesn't look fast sometimes, but no one can stay with him. He's really fast."

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