Wednesday Grid Report, 9/17

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt was pleased with some aspects of Wednesday's workout, but not so pleased about other areas. He wants improvement before Saturday.

Arkansas worked for two hours in full pad with the defense drawing praise and the offense some encouragement from the head coach to try to do better.

"We had a good day with good effort," said Houston Nutt. "The defense flew around and looked sharp. The offense didn't look as sharp and needs some improvement."

Nutt said injured regulars Lawrence Richardson and Richard Smith are still hobbled with ankle sprains, but tried to push through the practice. Both sat out the final segments of the drills. Linebacker Caleb Miller also sat out the final segments of the workout.

"I think we'll have all of them for the game," Nutt said. "They should be okay by Saturday night."

Matt Jones worked exclusively at quarterback. For the second straight day, Jones took no snaps at wide receiver. He was bothered last week by a sore hip flexor, but it does not appear that he's missed any time because of that injury this week.

Nutt said North Texas is a team with a lot of variations on offense and defense and would provide a tough game for the Hogs on Saturday night in Little Rock.

"They are well coached and play hard, and they are especially tough on defense," Nutt said. "They do a great job of stopping the run."

Offensive line coach Mike Markuson said there were several players in the North Texas defensive front that have given blockers fits all season.

"The nose guard, Brandon Kennedy, is really a great player, but so is Adrian Awasom, their defensive end," Markuson said. "When you try to double either one of them, they still have the ability to split the double, get their nose through and wreck the play. And, if you single block them, they spin and are loose. They are really special.

"Overall, I'm very impressed with the way they are coached on defense, their overall ability and the effort they get to play through blocks. No one blocks them very well and we'll have our work cut out for us."

Offensively, the Mean Green is extremely multiple. It has played two quarterbacks and has the ability to offer a balanced passing game or a top-notch option attack.

The Hogs unveiled a website for Shawn Andrews and Nutt said it was somthing that was due.

"Shawn has done a great job of playing and practicing well this season and is up for a lot of awards," Nutt said. "I thought Kevin Trainor (UA sports information director) did a nice job of that. We are pleased to have that site up and running for Shawn. We are happy to do this for Shawn and hope he keeps it in perspective and stays a team player like we've seen so far this year."

Markuson, Shawn's coach, smirked when he was asked about it.

"I've seen it," he said.

Well, what does he think?

"I've seen it," he said again. "I haven't read all of it, but I know about it."

Did Markuson know that Andrews had once eaten nine Big Mac burgers at one setting and that was on the website as fun facts about the big tackle?

"Does it say that?" Markuson said, beginning to laugh. "I didn't know he'd eaten that many by himself. I can eat one, that's all I know.

"I don't know about him eating that many Big Macs, but I saw Shawn eat so many prime ribs at the Lowery Beef Bowl in Dallas for the Cotton Bowl that they had to make him stop. I think they were 14 ounces and he ate like seven or eight of them. That's got to be more than nine Big Macs. He's something.

"Shawn has had a good week of practice. I've been pleased with the way he's worked this year."


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