On a day when Razorback nation mourn the loss of the first Lady of University of Arkansas athletics, the school's football team continued to prepare for its Saturday showdown with one of the nation's best teams.
The Wednesday practice was subdued because of the passing of Barbara Broyles, the wife of UA athletic director Frank Broyles.
The news came right before Arkansas (3-2, 1-1) began its Wednesday workout as Saturday's 2:30 p.m. game at No. 4 Auburn (5-0, 2-0) gets closer.
"I was really proud of the way our team came out and focused today," UA head coach Houston Nutt said. "It was a very good day of work. We got a lot accomplished."
The biggest news of the day was Nutt's naming of redshirt freshman Matt Gilbow as the new starting left tackle. He had been battling fellow redshirt freshman Nate Garner for the spot vacated by the injured Zac Tubbs.
"Matt Gilbow will start, but I won't be surprised if Garner also plays," Nutt said. "We are going to have both of them ready to go and both had good weeks, but Matt will start and we will go from there."
Junior college transfer Randy Kelly has also earned a spot in a secondary that Nutt feels has improved since a 45-30 loss at Florida.
"I liked the way the secondary got after it," Nutt said. "I really feel like there has been a sense of urgency since last week and that is what you want. It's been contagious throughout the secondary."
Kelly missed the first 10 days of practice and got his first extended playing time in the second half of the Florida game.
"Randy has been hustling," Nutt continued. "He's learning. I hate that he didn't have the two-a-days and that's why he was behind. He just has to keep improving."
He's also been impressed with how his defensive line has come along, a place Titus Peebles will start over Jeremy Harrell this week.
"These guys know they have to stop the run and got to be able to put some pressure on them," Nutt said. "They have been working hard to do that."
Auburn presents a balanced attack led by running backs Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown and vastly improved quarterback Jason Campbell.
"You are always concerned when they have two good backs that are very capable," Nutt said. "They have such power and speed.
"We are trying to cover all bases," Nutt added. "They have an excellent offensive line and they have the pass to go with it. The quarterback is playing the best he has ever played."
Nutt said he and Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville actually coached to gether for a very short time.
"We actually coached together for about three weeks at Arkansas State when Coach (Larry) Lacewell ws the head coach," Nutt said. "...You always run into each other at clinics always back to about 1984 or 1983."
In other injury news, freshman running back Peyton Hillis is beginning to rehab according to UA running backs coach Danny Nutt.
"He looks good walking around," Danny Nutt said. "They got him on the treadmill yesterday. He is a tough kid. There is no telling how quick he is going to get back."
UA Wednesday Grid Update, 10-13
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