Thursday Grid Report, 9/1

One of Arkansas' starting linebackers can't wait to get the season rolling while Razorback head coach Houston Nutt and his staff announce Thursday after practice who has earned starting nods at the two defensive tackle spots.

One of the captains is ready to get ahold of someone other than his teammates.

University of Arkansas senior linebacker Pierre Brown, one of five seniors elected this week to head up his team, wants him some of Missouri State and he'll get the chance Saturday night at 6 p.m. when the Razorbacks open their 2005 season at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

"We're getting pretty anxious," Brown said. "We are sick of hitting each other and it has been a grind for the last month to month-and-a-half. It is sure going to be fun to hit someone else for a change. We are sick of beating up on our own teammates."

The Razorbacks finished up on field work for the Saturday game with a short practice on Thursday with Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt announcing that Keith Jackson and Jeremey Harrell had won a six-player battle to start at the defensive tackle spots.

"Keith Jackson and Jeremy Harrell will go out on the field first and then we will play it from there," Nutt said. "...It's just a matter of them being the most consistent right now plus (Fred) Bledsoe and (Marcus) Harrison have been hurt. Everybody is going to play."

Brown,(6-0, 227) who along with his teammates finished up on-field preparations for Missouri State with a short workout Thursday, will start along with junior Sam Olajubutu (5-9, 227) at the outside linebackers with sophomore Weston Dacus (6-2, 230) getting the nod in the middle.

They'll head up a crew that will be backed up by seniors Clarke Moore (6-2, 245) and Michael Robinson (6-2, 230) along with a pair of true freshmen in Tyrell Graham (6-3, 210) and Freddie Fairchild (6-2, 215).

"I think we are going to be just fine there and be a strength of the defense," Brown said. "We've got some older guys there who have been in the battles plus some younger guys with a lot of talent that are providing great depth."

Brown noted that the Brown and Graham were just going to have to learn things on the fly now that the games are here.

"They are just going to have to grow up fast and have to get ahead of the curve," Brown said. "They are just going to have to go out and perform when the lights come on. That's all there is to it for all of us and I think our whole group will rise to the challenge."

Brown, who quietly rolled up 60 tackles last season to be his team's second-leading tackler while starting 10 of 11 games in 2004, is humbled by his election as one of the captains.

"It's a great honor - first and foremost," Brown said. "But with that honor comes great responsibility. You have to bring it every week, which I plan on doing and what you should do anyway. I am going to be prepared and lead by example and by words when the time calls for it."

Nutt, who also noted that Chris Balisero had kept his field goal kicking job, said he too is just ready to play a foe.

"Time's getting close, close, close and we are ready to play," Nutt said. "We are ready to go hit somebody else and it's been a long time coming."

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