Monday Grid Report, 12/15

The Hogs worked for over two hours in Walker Pavilion Monday as preparations for the Independence Bowl continued around final examinations.

Houston Nutt was pleased with the "bounce" in his players' steps as the Arkansas football team worked for over two hours, with a good portion assigned to recognition of Missouri formations and alignments.

"I'd say the first part of the workout was heavy with fundamentals kind of like we'd do in spring practice," Nutt said. "The second half of the workout was working against Missouri on offense and defense."

The Hogs got good news on Reggie Banks, the defensive linemen knocked unconscious during a goal line scrimmage at the end of Sunday's practice. Nutt said Banks was taken to the hospital and observed over night for the "slight concussion" when he took a hit from a helmet to the chin area.

"Reggie is okay and will be out of practice for a few days," Nutt said. "He's got some headaches right now, but he's going to be fine. He had a slight concussion."

The Hogs made it through Monday's workout without injuries. Ahmad Carroll, sidelined Sunday with a sore hamstring, practiced at full speed.

Defensive coordinator Dave Wommack was pleased with the work put in by middle linebacker Clarke Moore, trying to return from a broken leg sustained early in the year. Moore played briefly in both the Mississippi State and LSU games.

"Clarke is getting his conditioning back," Wommack said. "He's been frustrated at his progress, but I've told him that it doesn't come back all at once. He's getting better and better every day. I don't think he sees it, but I see it. He'll be all the way back, or close, by the time we get to Shreveport. These workouts are going to help him."

Backfield coach Danny Nutt was pleased with the work put in at fullback as the Hogs try to replace Mark Pierce.

"Brandon Kennedy is ready," Nutt said. "He's done well all year and he will be fine for this game. I also think Kyle Dickerson and Justin Slaughter are having fine practices, too. Slaughter blew someone up today in a drill. We are good at fullback."

The Hogs will go with Zac Tubbs at offensive right tackle with Shawn Andrews out because of a sinus condition. Tubbs has played a lot this year for Andrews, especially in short yardage situations when Andrews has moved to the backfield. Tubbs played most of the way last year when Andrews was held out for ankle injuries.

"I am fine with Zac," said Mike Markuson, offensive line coach. "We don't have any worries with Zac at all. He's done well when he's been in the game, actually played very well. He's in shape now and he'll make it an entire game. I don't have one second thought about where we are headed with Zac Tubbs. He is a good player.

Asked if losing Andrews was a distraction, Markuson said, "That's ancient history. That door was closed last week and we closed ranks and moved on. That's what you have to do and our players understand that. No, I don't think the (Andrews situation) is a distraction at all.

"You guys in the media are going to continue to talk about it, but our team has moved on. I learned from Coach (Lou) Holtz a long time ago that when you lose a player, no matter who they are, you close ranks and move forward. That's what we did."

Quarterback coach Roy Wittke noted that Missouri presented a different challenge for the Hogs because of the style of defense.

"We have not seen many zone teams this year," Wittke said. "In the SEC, they man up with their corners and don't play much zone. There is so much skill in the SEC at cornerback that you just don't see zone.

"Missouri will play almost all zone. They blitz, but it's a zone blitz, usually. We just haven't seen that much. We saw quite a bit of zone against Texas, but even Texas walked up and played some man.

"Missouri is very sound on defense. They keep things in front of them and make you drive the football. That's what we've seen on film from them. They are very good on defense."

Wommack said Missouri's offensive approach is unique for modern football.

"It's more like the old single wing and you just don't see it much any more," Wommack said. "They run a one back set, but in reality it is a two back because they have a quarterback there who is a runner.

"I have not seen anyone for a long time which has as many designed runs for the quarterback. They have a lot of ways to get the quarterback the ball. What is impressive is that they run him so much, yet he never seems to get nicked up. He's very durable and just a great, great player."

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