Thursday Grid Report, 12/18

Scott Davenport said the Hogs will try a new approach in Shreveport for the Independence Bowl.

Arkansas worked for a little over two hours in full pads Thursday, but did not satisfy the head coach.

"We were sloppy and didn't really get done what I'd hoped today," said Houston Nutt. "We've got to do a little better on Friday. I think they were a little sluggish because of finals. Hopefully, that's out of our system and we'll improve. I told them we have to do better."

Several Hogs were less than full speed in Thursday's workout. Cedric Cobbs didn't do any of the contact because of a minor case of bruised ribs. Marvin Jackson was slowed with a tender hamstring and Jimmy Beasley sat out some portions after rolling an ankle early in the workout.

"I don't think any of those are serious problems," Nutt said. "Cedric could have gone today and he did most of everything the previous workout."

Nutt said he was still unsure of the starter at quarterback, but again insisted that both Matt Jones and Ryan Sorahan would play in the Independence Bowl against Missouri.

Scott Davenport returned to workouts after spending the early part of the week wrapping up an internship at Rogers High School. Davenport is completing requirements for his Masters degree in physical education. He has worked as a student teacher this semester at three Rogers area schools.

"(Rogers officials) let me come to football practice today because we are putting in the heavy part of our Missouri stuff now," Davenport said. "I was in school the first part of the week."

The senior nose tackle said the Hogs have the proper mindset for the bowl trip.

"In the past, I think some of the guys had a little too much fun," Davenport said. "You want to have a good time, but the seniors are going to make sure that we go down to Shreveport with the right approach.

"I think our practices at home have been very good every year, but once we left town and got to the bowl, I'm not sure our focus was on football. That has to change. The seniors are going to do their part to make sure that is not the case this year. If we see someone out at night, our job is to get them to the hotel at an early time. We've had meetings and talked about that. A bowl trip should be a reward for the players, but it shouldn't be too big a reward!

"Our practices have always been physical and solid on campus, and now we want to make sure we have a great approach at the bowl site. This is an important game. We want to win the game. We are doing things to make sure that we play well in this game."

Davenport said he understood the reasons for the early finish for offensive tackle Shawn Andrews.

"He did what had to be done to protect his family," Davenport said. "Whether you are talking about his sinus condition or whatever you want to say, he is doing the right thing and most of us understand. We've talked about that. It's not a distraction or a concern. You do what you have to do for your family. I understood it perfectly."

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