Sunday Grid Report, 10/5

Arkansas went inside after rains left the practice fields damp. Houston Nutt liked what he saw of some of the injured Hogs.

Seventh-ranked Arkansas worked in shorts and helmets Sunday for about 70 minutes inside Walker Pavilion, their first day of practice after taking two days off for an open date. The Hogs entertain Auburn at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

"We had an excellent workout," said Houston Nutt, the UA head coach. "The guys bounced around pretty good and had a lot of enthusiasm, about what they should have looked like after some time off.

"We got right back into Auburn stuff and had a good day. I thought we looked sharp."

Nutt said watching the Auburn-Tennessee game on ESPN ruined his off day.

"Auburn is very, very good," Nutt said. "And the thing that I noticed is that they had a great, great crowd last night. The Auburn crowd was the 12th man. They were very loud and a definite factor in the game. I think Tennessee had five or six procedure penalties or alignment problems. It was loud.

"We need our crowd to do the same thing Saturday night, come and be a factor. They need to have a sweat worked up when it's over. They need to be loud when Auburn has the ball and be our 12th man.

"Auburn's offense is very good. They have three NFL backs. They have one who is 6-4, 262 and is very physical. Then they have Cadillac Williams, a great back with speed. Then they have Ronnie Brown and he just powers over you. They also have a great offensive line and a passing game that can take advantage of the play-action fakes."

Defensive coordinator Dave Wommack knows the Hogs have their work cut out for them with Auburn's physical attack.

"They do everything well on offense," Wommack said. "They scare you with the power they have in their running game. It's a very physical offense. We know what we are up against.

"But we had a very good practice today. Our players are very focused and want to play well this week. We'll have to be at our best and they know that. I don't know if they watched that game last night or what, but they know we are up against a top offense with great power running."

Offensive line coach Mike Markuson saw Auburn's defense as a physical presence, too.

"I don't think Tennessee ran the ball very well on them at all and Tennessee has always run it well," Markuson said. "I thought Auburn came with their A-plus game ... no make it their A-plus-plus game last night. I was impressed with their defense. They are physical and they can run so we have a big challenge this weekend."

The Hogs were healthier Sunday than they've been in quite some time, but still not at full strength.

Chase Pressley (ankle), George Wilson (ankle) and Lawrence Richardson (ankle) all practiced for several periods and should be able to play on Saturday.

"We got a little more out of Chase than last week and George and Lawrence went for about half of it today," Nutt said. "We pulled them out after awhile to make sure we didn't over do it with them."

The Hogs finished the day with a heavy dose of conditioning.

Dedrick Poole and Cedric Washington were not on hand for the workout. Both had transportation problems on their return trip after going home for the weekend.

Matt Jones handled the first-team snaps at quarterback to start the day and to finish the day, but rested his passing arm, as has been the case on Sunday workouts all season.

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