UA punches out two-a-days

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt, who punched a watermelon to celebrate the end of two-a-days, is looking to answer some depth chart questions after a major scrimmage set for Saturday night.

How did the University of Arkansas' two-a-days end on Friday afternoon?

Well, Razorback head football coach Houston Nutt hauled off and threw a punch.

The punch was not at any players, but at a watermelon to break it open as the Razorbacks celebrated the end of two-a-days in traditional fashion with a truck load off it from Hope.

"We had a real spirited practice," Nutt said. "The defense really moved around today. I am very anxious to see them tomorrow night."

That would be in a 6 p.m. Saturday night scrimmage that follows Fan Day activities from 10 a.m. - noon.

Observers at the UA' practice field got a little preview of that on Friday afternoon when the Razorbacks lined up their first units against each other and the seconds for a few plays.

They did so after running, which usually happens after the team scrimmages.

"What we did was a little switch for them," Nutt said. "It was a sudden change where we ran gassers before team. The weather was so nice and we wanted to see who would play a little bit when they were tired."

The only bad news out of Friday afternoon's workout was injuries to Robert Felton and Stephen Parker, who have been battling for the first-team berth at left guard.

"Robert Felton went down today," Nutt said of a player who was going to be X-rayed on Friday night. "I hope he is not too serious. He was really coming on and we can't afford to lose anybody, especially in the offensive line. I am hoping we get him back."

The pair of injuries precipitated a trio of offensive linemen getting the work in practice and maybe in the scrimmage on Saturday.

"It was a bad day for the offensive (linemen)," Nutt. "They got tangled up a lot. Right now it's a committee - Nate Garner, Tyler Morgan, Ivora Hall. It will be all of those guys getting all of the work they want."

One guy expected to miss the practice who did work was fullback Brandon Kennedy, who Nutt is having trouble keeping off the field even if he has a broken finger.

"Brandon got a lot of work today. He has everything taped up and in a case. He is hungry, very, very hungry...especially when the defense gets the better of it then he is really ready to compete."

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Arkansas worked for two hours in shorts and shoulder pads in the first of two practices Friday.

"We bounced around and had a good workout," Nutt said after the Hogs finished work on a cool, damp morning. "We worked on different snap counts and different situations, like the two-minute offense with down and distance. We are just trying to cover as many situations as we can right now."

Nutt said the Saturday night scrimmage would go a long way in determining the fall depth chart.

"We've got some young ones we are trying to see how far along they are," Nutt said. "We are trying to get everything lined up. There are some players we need to see go about 30-35 or 40 plays to see where they are -- guys like Chris Houston, Kevin Woods, Darren Rogers and Chase Pressley. Those guys are doing well but we really want to give them a good test and look.

"We are excited about the scrimmage. It's the last really big scrimmage we'll have and we are hoping to make it like a game-like situation. We want to see how guys like Marcus Monk and Peyton Hillis react in game-like settings. We want to see if our young offensive line can eliminate the little mental mistakes. It's a big night as far as securing some things on the depth chart."

Nutt said there were a lot of bright spots from the Monday morning workout.

"Robert Johnson had a good day, and so did Landon Leach," he said. "Landon Leach is really coming on. He just needs to stay out here so we can really get a good evaluation. He's been sick a few days this week, but the other days have been really good for him.

"I'd say Robert Johnson is a little ahead at the No. 2 job, but Leach has closed in some. If Leach can stay on the field, he'll be right there with Robert, I think. We need every day we can get the rest of August to see what our quarterbacks can do. Alex Mortensen does some good things, too. You'd like to redshirt Alex, but it's too early to say that."

Nutt said he was pleased with the move Rogers has made at stinger linebacker. The former walkon from Paragould is pushing for playing time. Rogers has been a solid special teams player for the last two years, but now may get time on the field with the defense.

"Darren has been a big surprise this camp," Nutt said. "He's put together a string of solid workouts. We've got a little depth at linebacker now with Darren."

Nutt also said that wideouts Steven Harris, Chris Baker and Carlos Ousley have had solid camps.

"Chris Baker has really grown up," Nutt said. "Anthony Brown had a great day today and Marcus Monk has had a great fall camp. We like our depth at wideout."

Nutt said it's been good to see how much knowledge the youngsters have "soaked up" in fall camp. He noted, "We've tested them some at night when we've conducted bed check. When we get to their rooms, they are into the playbook. They are all like sponges. It's been a good situation the last two weeks."

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