It's no secret that South Carolina and head coach Lou Holtz is in desperate need of a win in one of its next three ball game to get to a bowl game, a feat that have been unable to achieve the last couple of years.
But after going 0-for-October for the second straight season, University of Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt really isn't worried about any program but his own as it tries to get its first win in six weeks when the Razorbacks (3-4, 1-3) visit the Gamecocks (5-3, 3-3) for a Saturday game starting at 11:30 a.m.
"This has been one of our better weeks of practice," Nutt said. "You love how they have worked so hard and you just want a win for them so bad. They are working hard and as long as they keep working hard and keep getting up good things are going to happen to this team. It starts throughout the week and we've had two good weeks getting ready."
While Arkansas had an off week last Saturday, South Carolina watched an 8-0 lead over visiting Tennessee near the end of the first half turn into a 43-29 blowout loss to the Vols by game's end. It dropped the Gamecocks to 0-3 in SE play at home going into this season's final home game this Saturday and Williams-Brice Stadium.
"It's their last home game and I know Coach Holtz very well," Nutt said. "He'll really put in on the seniors and let the 15 or 16 know this will be their last game in that stadium. He'll pull on them real hard about how they haven't won a conference game at home. He'll make it a special day and you have to overcome that."
Arkansas worked inside the Walker Pavilion indoor workout area again on Wednesday because of the weather, but hopes to get some practice in outside on Thursday.
"It's good to be able to get in a dry place and practice and get some things done," Nutt said. "But tomorrow we would really like to get outside."
While South Carolina has struggled in November, Arkansas is 18-8 in November under Nutt and is 9-1 in the last two seasons in that month.
Chances for success this year in November are aided by the fact that senior quarterback Matt Jones will be as healthy for this game on Saturday as he has been since Arkansas' 2x-10 win over Alabama in Fayetteville back on Sept. 28.
"It's a good feeling to have him out here full speed, moving around and getting things done," Nutt said. "You can really tell the difference in our offense when he is out there and hopefully we will be able to see it Saturday."
Arkansas is the league's best red zone team, cashing in 24 times with 22 of those being touchdowns. South Carolina is among the league's least successful in that area.
But Nutt says it's about how his team plays over the entire 100 yards that will make the difference.
"It seems as if we say it every week, but it's simple to me,' Nutt said. "The team that makes the fewest mistakes is going to win this football game."
Robert Felton continued to work with the first-team line on Wednesday at right tackle while Chris Houston seems all primed to start at one of the cornerback spots.
Several Razorbacks were limited in practice on Wednesday, but Nutt expects almost everybody to be ready on Saturday.
"Our defense played outstanding the last game and our offense had a couple of good quarters as far as executing," Nutt said. "If we can take that to the field for four quarters on Saturday, we are going to do just fine."
UA Wednesday Grid Report, 11-3
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