Tuesday Grid Report, 11/23

Arkansas designd its workout on Monday to get a physical day. On Tuesday, the Hogs switched gears to get a taste of more speed at practice.

Arkansas practiced in full pads on Monday to give its lines a taste of some physical work in preparation for Friday's regular-season finale against LSU.

On Tuesday, the Hogs scripted a practice to get a look at more speed with the first offense working against the first defense for a good portion of the team sessions.

"We went against each other today to see some speed," said Houston Nutt, the head coach. "We are playing a team that is very fast."

Having said that, Nutt said he knows that LSU will represent one of the most physical teams in the country. That puts pressure on the UA lines.

"Our offensive and defensive lines have to have their best games," Nutt said. "We are playing against a very talented group on both sides of the ball and they play very hard and fast."

With all of that in mind, Nutt said he thought the Hogs "had a very good day."

A critical area of play will be turnovers, Nutt said. LSU leads the league in turnovers allowed.

"We'd like to get some help from them," he said. "We'd like two to four turnovers. That would be great. We stress turnovers every week."

The Hogs got a good bit of work from quarterback Matt Jones, slowed with a sore hamstring. Jones was able to handle most of the passing drills, but deferred to backup Robert Johnson when the team portions hit on Tuesday.

"Matt is better," Nutt said. "He continues to improve."

However, nothing Jones did on Monday or Tuesday provided a hint on his status for Friday's game with LSU. He was judged to be at "60 percent" last week against Mississippi State and spent much of the afternoon sitting in the pocket.

Defensive secondary coach Bobby Allen said his young group has improved, but it's come against lesser competition over the last three weeks. He knows that they will face a much faster group of wide receivers this week.

"LSU does a great job with their scheme. They get their guys open every week. They move them around and they run great routes."

"All of our young ones have gotten better, but the one who has covered the most ground is Michael Grant," Allen said. "He looked like a young duckling when he got here. He hadn't played much defense and what he had played was safety. But he's coming along nicely."

The wide receivers present a problem, but the toughest task may be tackling LSU's big running backs.

"They have broken a lot of tackles this year," Allen said. "If we try to block them down, they will break tackles Friday. You have to wrap up their legs to get them down. Nothing else will cut it. And, we have to have help when we wrap them up. It's going to take 11 to get it done this week on defense."


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