Thursday Grid Report, 9/11

Arkansas took advantage of dry conditions in Walker Pavilion for their last workout of the week in preparation for Texas. The Hogs did allow a few players to test the wet conditions before moving under the roof.

Arkansas worked for about 70 minutes in shorts and helmets Thursday inside Walker Pavilion. Rain and slick conditions prevented the Hogs from working on the practice field, although Houston Nutt did give the kickers, holders, snappers and kick returners some time in the mist.

"We wanted to get our special team guys some work outside since it may be wet in Austin on Saturday morning," Nutt said. "Then we did the rest inside."

Offensive tackle Shawn Andrews completed all of the workout Thursday. He was unable to get in a full day on Tuesday and Wednesday because of a stomach bug.

"He's fine, great," said line coach Mike Markuson of Andrews. "Don't worry about big Shawn. He's ready. He wants this one. He'll be there, no problem. I thought he looked like his old self today."

Richard Smith, out the last two days with an ankle sprain, jogged and made some cuts on Thursday and "will play" against Texas, according to trainer Dean Weber.

Placekicker David Carlton, out last week with a sprain to his plant foot, kicked with the first group on Thursday. Nutt said it will be a game time decision as to whether Carlton or Chris Baleseiro will kick against Texas.

"David is better, but we'll look at them both," Nutt said. "We'll see how they kick before the game. We'll make the call then.

"Today we had a good spirited practice and good concentration. That is what Thursday is about is going over assignments and being mentally prepared. We began the practice outside with our deep snappers, punters, receivers and kick returners just because there is a possibility of rain and we needed to get some work in those kind of conditions."

Markuson said it's hard to say how Texas will play on defense based on past tendencies.

"We've seen them do so many things from last year," Markuson said. "They call themselves a 4-3, but they really are quite multiple. They can play about any way they want.

"There are times they blitz a lot in a game, and then times they don't blitz at all. I'm sure if we could hit some plays early then they'd back out of blitzes. We just don't know.

"They have some great talents in that defense. Of course, everyone talks about Derrick Johnson, their linebacker. He's a great one. We haven't seen anyone block him.

"The defensive end, Kalen Thornton, is something special, too. He can really run and rush the passer. They've moved them around, but we expect to see him on their right side, meaning he'd be against Bo Lacy. I wouldn't think they'd put him against Shawn Andrews. He'll be a challenge for anyone. He's a great player, but Bo has really done well this fall. That will be a matchup to watch."

As far as playing a typical 4-3 front with their tackles opposite Arkansas' guards, Markuson doesn't expect that from the Longhorns.

"We'll see some of that, but probably not a lot," he said. "They don't play that traditional 4-3 where they cover the guards. That's not been their style in their version of the 4-3. They'll move them around and try to create confusion."

Markuson said he continues to like what he sees in the battle between centers Dan Doughty and Kyle Roper.

"That's a dogfight and I like it," he said. "Both graded out high in the opener. We can play both and Kyle is about our sixth-best player in the offensive line. Usually, you don't rotate your centers, but in this case we could do that. They've both been working with both quarterbacks since our two quarterbacks rotate, too. Knock on wood, we haven't had problems with the center-quarterback exchange."


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