UA Wednesday Grid Report

Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt gets his team's attention midway through Wednesday's workout and his players respond to finish up strong.

Usually by Wednesday you can tell how a college football team is rebounding from one Saturday's game and gearing up for the next one.

Midway through this week's mid-week workout, University of Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt had seen enough, called his players together and told them less than gently to turn the page from a 22-20 loss to Texas - and to do so now.

"Sometime you don't realize what a game like that, how much it takes out of you," Nutt said. "The sun was out and they were a little sluggish. We were just making sure everybody's on the same target."

Arkansas (1-1) will battle Louisiana-Monroe (0-1) Saturday night at Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium in a 6 p.m. game as the Razorbacks try to extend its record under Nutt in that city to 17-0.

"For the most part it was good," Nutt said of the practice. "We still have a few guys sore, but we bounced around for the most part and got some things done. We're getting better at it, but glad we still have a couple more days to get ready."

Junior tight end Jared Hicks and sophomore defensive tackle Jeremy Harrell are the only two sore ones that appear questionable for Saturday as both went through limited practice on Wednesday.

"They are trying to fight through it and getting better," Nutt said, "but we'll see."

If Harrell can't go, Titus Peebles will likely get the start and split playing time inside with Lucas Jackson, freshman Fred Bledsoe and maybe even taking the redshirt off Ernest Mitchell.

"We have started training Ernest because he has been doing a better job and you just need some depth right there," UA defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said. "We want to keep them fresh and healthy. Jeremy came out of the practice after he stung his ankle and A.D. (senior starter Arrion Dixon) stung his wrist a little bit and that is going to happen with those big guys up front. We are going to have to play a lot of people this year. That was just the second game and we have got at least nine to go."

Nutt has wavered back and forth on whether to redshirt freshman tight end Marc Winston, who was all geared up to play last week before Hicks was able to play extended time.

"We would like to (redshirt Winston), but we will just see how it goes," Nutt said.

It comes down to winning football games according to Womack.

"Coach Nutt tells them before the season don't even think redshirt until we say something to you about it being definite," Womack said. "You have got to do what is best for your team first. That's what it is all about. If we have to burn somebody we will, but it is not a decision we take lightly."

Bledsoe, the 6-4, 300-pound true freshman from Little Rock, got six snaps on defense and a tackle last week in addition to his special team duties.

Bledsoe reported to camp overweight, was mentally and physically challenged by UA defensive line coach Tracy Rocker and has responded.

"I have been coming out in practice and putting forth the effort," Bledsoe said. "Coach Rocker told me that if that happened, that if I worked hard out there and be the best that I can be out here, he would find me some time."

He is pumped about going back home to play on Saturday.

"I am looking real forward to playing in The Rock," Bledsoe said. "All my friends and family are going to be there and I am going to put forth maximum effort for my team and them."


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