Arkansas took advantage of the friendly confines of Walker Pavilion for an indoor practice Tuesday when a cold front brought heavy rains to the Ozarks.
"I'm so thankful to the Walker family," Houston Nutt said. "This is a great building and it saved us today. We had a good practice."
The Hogs practiced with great intensity as the coaches whipped the players into a frenzy after two weeks of easier practices. The team was in full pads and had plenty of hitting, although no backs were tackled. Linemen got after it with impressive intensity as Mike Markuson and Tracy Rocker could be heard barking throughout the afternoon.
"We will start Ryan Sorahan at quarterback," Nutt said. "He's a senior and this is his last game in Reynolds Razorback Stadium. He deserves it."
Nutt said it will be a special day with so many seniors playing their final game in Fayetteville.
"This is a great group of seniors," he said. "This was pretty much our first class. They've represented themselves and their family with class. They play hard and fast. We appreciate their efforts. About 99 percent of them are going to graduate. We are going to start as many as we can."
Quarterback coach Roy Wittke also said Sorahan deserves to start.
"Ryan understands his role," Wittke said. "It's been a limited role, but he's accepted it. He's done a lot of the throwing in practice because of Matt's shoulder condition. For that reason, it's good that he is starting. Matt understands it and kinda likes it. He doesn't say much and tells us he's happy and wants to win. That's all I can tell you. I think it takes some pressure off of Matt and lets him get the feel of the game and to see what the tone of the game might be before he gets on the field.
"Matt has been playing well, but in Ryan's defense, he did a lot of things right in the last game. I think he's practiced very well and will give a good performance on Saturday."
Senior wideout George Wilson said too much has been made of the controversy about the starter at quarterback.
"What are people saying ... that Matt should start?" Wilson said. "This is our team and we are winning. Our quarterbacks are playing good football. We like our quarterbacks and like the way we are doing it. When you are winning, don't change it. That's how the seniors feel right now. I think everyone is together on this deal and why people would care when we are winning, I don't understand."
The Hogs had a scare Tuesday when inside linebacker Marcus Whitmore banged an ankle early in Tuesday's workout. He jogged a lap and then returned to the action without problems.
It appears that Caleb Miller will start at mike linebacker, moving over from stinger linebacker. Desmond Sims will take the first snap at stinger linebacker. However, the Hogs will also have the services of Whitmore, Pierre Brown and possibly Michael Robinson in the inside linebacker rotation. Robinson is practicing with a soft cast after having a pin inserted to anchor a broken bone in his wrist just one week ago. The Hogs lost Sam Olajubutu to a suspension on Sunday after the redshirt freshman was charged with a DWI.
"We are fine at linebacker," Miller said. "Our meeting room has changed during the year. We've had guys like Brandon Holmes, Clarke Moore and Michael Robinson that have been hurt, but we are getting some back while losing some more.'
Moore has worked in individual drills Sunday and Tuesday after sustaining a broken leg in the season's third week. He won't play this week, but both Moore and coaches indicated that he might be ready by the LSU game the day after Thanksgiving.
Tuesday Grid Report, 11/18
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