Thursday Grid Report, 9/16

Arkanas finished its on-the-field preparation for Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday with a 90-minute workout. It became clear that the Hogs were going to look at some younger players at tight end.

Houston Nutt praised his defense after a 90-minute workout Thursday in which several passes were intercepted in the closing segment of the day.

"We had a good mental day and bounced around," Nutt said. "Our defense really flew around and chased the ball. We got some turnovers. Hopefully, we can do that again Saturday night."

The Hogs meet Louisiana-Monroe at 6 p.m. Saturday in War Memorial Stadium to finish the nonconference part of the schedule. The Hogs lost the turnover battle last week by a 4-0 count.

"We hit the kicking game spots hard today," Nutt said. "We had a good practice."

Defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said his group had an excellent day, but worried that they had covered too much ground on ULM's offensive potential during the week.

"We really don't know what they will be doing," Wommack said. "They have some history in different directions because their staff has been at different places. They have shown three and four wide outs, but Todd Berry was a lot of option packages at Army. I hope we haven't done too much this week."

The Hogs will check their injured regulars at game time before making a decision. Tight end Jared Hicks is still slowed by a shoulder injury sustained in the opener. Nose guard Jeremy Harrell has an ankle sprain.

"Jeremy Harrell moved around a lot better," Nutt said. "We'll see how he is on Saturday. Jared is still having trouble. He may play, but I'd think that most of the reps at tight end will go to Payne Hall and Mason Templeton."

Nutt said to expect a lot of playing time spread among four players at tailback. He said the back who protects the ball and blocks well will get the most playing time. "We like all of our backs," Nutt said. "We didn't go into the game last week thinking we'd play four, but that might be the way it works out. We know we are going to need them all."

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