UA Thursday Grid Report

Arkansas puts the finishing touches on its preparations for Saturday's game with Alabama by covering everything it can come up with on Thursday.

With Saturday's SEC Western Division showdown with Alabama looming, the e University of Arkansas polished up on its and the Crimson Tide's plays and formations with a short practice on Thursday.

"It was a good practice, a good mental day," Razorback head coach Houston Nutt said. "We worked on all of our kicking situations, hit all of our substitutions and just tried to cover every base...kicking, offense and defense."

The Razorbacks (2-1, 0-0) host the Crimson Tide (3-0, 1-0) in a 2:30 p.m. game that will be nationally televised by CBS.

It appears everybody will be healthy enough to play with the possible exception of cornerback and punt team gunner Chris Houston, who did show improvement on Thursday.

"Chris Houston is still working his way back, but he is getting better, much better," Nutt said of a player who remains a game time decision. "Hopefully he can keep improving the way he has the last 48 hours. He has really come on."

Nutt said Darius Vinnett and John Johnson would be the gunners and be backed up by Dedrick Poole while he previously mentioned that Matterral Richardson and Michael Grant will back up Vinnett at corner.

Nutt mentioned that he was pleased by how few actual injuries his team had suffered in its three nonconference games.

"I am really proud of how we have held together and stayed out of the training room," Nutt said. "It's been a real blessing."

The UA head coach was asked if he had mentioned Shaud Williams' 80-yard run for Alabama to open the game when the Crimson Tide won in Fayetteville two years ago - a game that was avenged when Arkansas won in Tuscaloosa last season.

"I don't bring up anything negative," Nutt said. "I think that is the worse thing you can do - talk about them going 80 yards on the first play or something like that. The ones that played the game no that."

Any fans thinking that Arkansas is going to have an easier game because Alabama starting quarterback k Brodie Croyle is out for the season should reassess that according to Nutt. The fact that Croyle filled in for injured Crimson Tide starter Tyler Watts and led his team to a victory two seasons ago in Fayetteville is exhibit A.

"That is not our focus," Nutt said. "They are still going to do the same things offensively. The quarterback (Marc Guillon) that is going to play is very good. The word we got is he can really throw the football. The worse thing we can do is get excited and think we've got them one up because they don't have a quarterback - because they do."

Arkansas would certainly like to play with the lead on Saturday instead of playing catchup as it did in a 22-20 loss to visiting Texas two weeks ago. The Razorbacks rallied from 9-0 and 16-7 deficits to take a 17-16 lead at halftime.

"I think Texas gave us a great example of that," Nutt said. "It's tough to play catch up with a a great football team. You take care of your business, take care of the ball and play hard. I have no doubts our guys are going to lay it on the line."

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