Arkansas Adjusting To Indians

FAYETTEVILLE -- For the second week in a row, Arkansas defensive coordinator Dave Wommack has a shortage of film to review on the Razorbacks' next opponent.

Texas installed more run-oriented offense this year, but only showed a limited amount in its opener with the shotgun option featuring Vince Young and Cedric Benson in the backfield.

Arkansas was caught off guard when Texas went to the power-I formation with two backs and Young before adjusting in the second half.

Louisiana-Monroe has a first-year offensive coordinator in Todd Berry, who was the head coach at Army for four years before being fired after the Black Knights started last year 0-6.

Wommack remembers Berry from his last season as the defensive coordinator at Southern Miss in 2000, Berry's first in Conference USA.

Southern Miss and Army didn't meet that year, but Wommack knows what kind of offense Berry likes to run.

Berry and Monroe head coach Charlie Weatherbie have installed a multiple offense that enjoyed some degree of success against Auburn despite its 31-0 loss.

Nine players had receptions and quarterback Steven Jyles completed his first 11 passes against Auburn, finishing 16 of 22 but for only 96 yards.

"We had to base a lot of it on the Auburn game," Wommack said of the Razorbacks preparations. "In the past, they've been a lot of one-back (formations) from the standpoint of Army. We probably overworked some things we're not going to see, but you have to do that to prepare.

"They're mostly a one-back team. They're going to run a quarterback series, the radar play with the shotgun."

Arkansas should have some carryover from defending the "radar" option play out of the shotgun formation because that was the scheme it spent the most time preparing for against Texas.

The Razorbacks defense also has to correct its mental mistakes from the Texas game. Poor fundamentals proved costly on three big plays Texas converted to its tight ends, including the game's first touchdown on a 49-yard strike from Young to David Thomas.

"You have to tweak it every week according to what you see," Wommack said. "The long touchdown was a mental error and we have to eliminate that first and foremost. There's different routes and you have to tweak it and let them see it on film as many times as you can."

Starting free safety Vickiel Vaughn suffered a right ankle injury against Texas. He has practiced this week and will play, but look for more playing time for junior college transfer Randy Kelly and true freshman Desmond Williams at the free safety position.

Wommack would like to keep developing his depth in the last nonconference game before Arkansas' unprecedented run of eight straight Southeastern Conference games.

His rotation was shorter against Texas and this may be his last chance to get a long look at his backups in extended game time.

All that is contingent on the Razorbacks building a nice lead as they did against New Mexico State.

"Hopefully we can play more people than we did in the last game," Wommack said. "I'd like to be in that situation. But the most important thing is to take it one snap at a time."

Starting tight end Jared Hicks and starting defensive tackle Jeremy Harrell both continue to be limited by injury.

Hicks suffered a shoulder injury diving for a ball against New Mexico State and missed much of practice leading up to Texas, but returned to log a heavy snap count against the 'Horns.

Head trainer Dean Weber said the staff is trying to manage Hicks' injury, but it is hard to find time for rehab once the season has started.

Harrell has a low-to-middle right ankle sprain and hasn't had a full practice since Saturday's game.

Weber said Harrell's and Vaughn's ankle sprains are not as serious as Hicks' shoulder problem.

Hicks was also held out of contact Wednesday.

"It'll get to a point regardless of what he does it'll get well," Weber said. "We're just not to that point yet. We've got to manage this thing the best we can until we get to an open date and hopefully he'll get some rest then."

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said Wednesday Titus Peebles, who suffered an ankle injury against New Mexico State, will likely earn the start at Harrell's tackle spot Saturday.

Peebles also was held out of a lot of action Wednesday, as was starting nose guard Arrion Dixon, who was getting some well-earned rest while line coach Tracy Rocker got a good look at backups Lucas Jackson and Keith Jackson Jr. at the inside positions on the first-team unit.

"I guess coach Rock is impressed with how I've been doing," Lucas Jackson said. "He sees this is my time to get a little playing time, so I'm going to go out there and do the best I can."

Nutt called his team together near the end of practice to sharpen the focus after he felt things were becoming ragged.

He said some players are still feeling the effects from their battle with Texas.

"Sometimes you don't realize what a game like that takes out of you," Nutt said. "The sun was out and we were a little sluggish. We were just making sure everyone is on the same target."

Arkansas assistant strength and conditioning coach Brent Lale, who suffered a motorcycle accident early Saturday morning, has had his condition upgraded.

He is still in intensive care at Washington Regional Hospital, but his condition has been changed from critical to guarded.

"I haven't seen him, but I've heard that he's doing much better," Weber said. "That's good news."

Arkansas junior linebacker Michael Robinson continues to be held out of action after suffering a seizure Sept. 1 and spending four days in the hospital.

Nothing firm has yet been learned on the cause of Robinson's malady and Weber said he is being cautious with him.

He said Robinson hasn't had consecutive "good" days, but has gained back some of the weight he lost in the hospital.

"He feels a lot better, but there are days where he doesn't feel better, too," Weber said. "I wouldn't be surprised if this trend continues. He just needs to get healthy again.

"If it takes awhile, it takes awhile."

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