Wednesday Grid Report, 10/29

Arkansas wide receiver George Wilson knows the Hogs will have to be stong this week in Kentucky.

One doesn't know if University of Arkansas starting quarterback Matt Jones even listens to the Dixie Chicks, but there seems a possibity one of that music group's hits might just be his theme song this Saturday at Kentucky.

After a Wednesday workout where Jones spent a lot of his time at quarterback, but far more than usual at wideout, Razorback assistant James Shibest was singing the praises of "Wide Open Spaces."

"Matt is not and probably never will be a true dropback passer, but he was having so much success in those first four games that we weren't about to change anything," Shibest said. "But things certainly haven't been happening offensively as we would have liked. I'm not breaking any scoops there.

"But we have have to get him out there someway in some wide open places and let him make some plays," Shibest continued. "That something that we are really taking a look at, especially with Decori (Birmingham) being at tailback all the time now. Matt's still going to be our quarterback, but we are just trying to get some things going."

Unoffficially Jones - who was more antimated than normal - probably got more than half the snaps, but Sorahan got more snaps at QB than on a normal Wednesday and was certainly happy about that.

"I'm excited about being a bigger part of the gameplan and I've got a good feeling about this game," Sorahan said. "I am going to be ready, that's for sure. It's a lot tougher when you don't get many snaps, but it's nice when you can see a light at the end of the tunnel."

He think Jones, who lined up at several differnent spots on Wednesday, will make big plays at quarterback and at wideout on Sunday.

"Matt is a great receiver and whether he is at quarterback, out wide or in tight," Sorahan said. "He is so athletic as everybody knows. He has great hands and runs great routes. I think he is going to make some big plays and help snap our offense out of our funk."

No matter who is at quarterback, an effective running game will be a big key and Cedric Cobbs and De'Arrius Hioward- Arkansas' top two running backs who both missed the Ole Miss game with injuries, saw limited action on Wednesday.

UA head coach Houston Nutt "hoping" that both can play at least a little on Saturday.

""De'Arrius went again today and was a little bit better and Cedric moved around pretty well for the most part," Nutt said. "He is not full speed, but it was good to see him out here going through some run polish and handling the ball. That is good to see."

Birmingham, who continues to wear number 7 as does true freshman quarterback Robert Johnson in honor of Brandon Holmes (out for the year with an injury suffered in the Ole Miss game.

"I'm just going to go out there and do everything I can to fight and help us win," Birmingham said. "If Ced and D-Howard can help out, that would be great."

Backup safety Lerinzo Robinson, who was also hurt in the Ole Miss game, also saw more action on Wednesday than he did Tuesday.

Although there have been reports of the offense being simplified, that did not appear to be the case during Wednesday's workout with a variety of formations, plays and motion.

"We are just trying to do what's best to get this thing turned around," Shibest said.

Arkansas (4-3, 1-3) takes on Kentucky (4-4, 1-3), who fell down 17-7 at home to Mississippi State on Saturday only to open up the offense and roar to a 42-17 win.

The Razorbacks, which have lost three straight, are ready to turn the tide.

"There may be some people out there talking negative about us, but we are not reading the paper, listening to the radio shows or getting on those message boards," Arkansas senior wideout George Wilson said. "Our coaches have stressed that because a weak-minded individual could easily get off his game if he cared what was being said about him.

"Anyone who is jumping off the bandwagon, we don't need to be playing for those fans anyway," Wilson added. "We need to be playing for ourselves, for our coaches and for the fans who truly love and support us through thick and thin."


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