Tuesday Grid Report, 10/26

Arkansas worked in a light rain on Tuesday with the major emphasis already shifted to preparations for South Carolina. With an open date this week, the other major emphasis was to get some key players well.

Arkansas scaled back the contact Tuesday in hopes of bringing some life back to tired legs at the eight-week point of the football season. The Hogs have an open date before going to South Carolina on Nov. 6. The Hogs wore shoulder pads, but no pads below the waist and did not hit.

"We had a good mental day and we moved around pretty good," Houston Nutt said. "We are trying to get a few people well, but we are getting ready for South Carolina, too."

Quarterback Matt Jones did not wear any pads, and did not do anything but watch on one knee on Tuesday. However, Nutt knew enough about his condition to pronounce his senior signal caller much better than he was at this time last week.

Jones is trying to recover from a strained groin injury sustained two weeks ago at Auburn and a strained hamstring suffered Saturday against Georgia.

"He's quite a bit better than he was on Tuesday of last week," Nutt said. "We are hopeful he'll be close to full speed in two weeks. It looks like he's better."

Linebacker Sam Olajubutu tried to practice after spraining a knee Saturday, but had to step out of drills to spend a bit of time jogging on the sideline.

Tight end Jared Hicks, slowed by a sore shoulder for several weeks, did not practice. He watched the workout.

Cornerback Michael Coe (thigh strain) jogged through some of the drills, but did not wear any pads. Split end Steven Harris (knee sprain) was not at the workout. Dedrick Poole was dressed for the workout and did a few things, but did not appear to be quite at full speed after missing the last game with a hamstring injury.

Offensive line coach Mike Markuson said he was pleased with the play of redshirt freshman Robert Felton against Georgia.

"Robert had nine knockdowns and some of those were against David Pollack," Markuson said. "He made some mistakes, but I think we saw him step up to be a player in this game. He had a very good day today. He's got some pop and can drive you off the ball.

"I think he can play any of the line spots except center now. I think he can play either guard or either tackle. I think I can get him ready in two days to help at any of those spots."

Felton took the bulk of the snaps Tuesday at left tackle with Tony Ugoh still bothered by the effects of passing a kidney stone last week. Ugoh did not play last week. Markuson said Ugoh complained of dizziness during Tuesday's workout, and spent most of the workout on one knee behind the offensive huddle taking fluids.

"Tony will be okay and he'll be back out there," Markuson said. "Right now, he can't go. We've got some good things going with the guys up there now. They know what's ahead and how important these next four games are for our team and they are getting with it. Tony wants to be back out there with them and he will come back in the next day or so."

Markuson said he feels the Hogs will get their running game back with Jones' health returning to full speed and the return of Peyton Hillis to the backfield stable.

"I think we'll be fine this coming game," Markuson said. "We'll have some more offensive bullets and we'll be fine. South Carolina has a fine defense, but we just need to get all of the bullets back."

Nutt said he was pleased with Kyle Dickerson at running back. Dickerson got most of the snaps that had been going to De'Arrius Howard.

"Kyle Dickerson has been more productive," Nutt said. "I like what he's given us at tailback and at fullback with some of our plays. He's hitting the holes with quickness. That's what we want to see at that position."

Jeremy Davis had a fine day punting the ball, booming almost all of his kicks despite working in a light rain through the kicking portions of the workout.

The Hogs will practice about 90 minutes again Wednesday, and then spend Thursday running and lifting weights. They will take Friday and Saturday off before resuming workouts on Sunday.

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