With some walking wounded back in the fold and a couple either not starting or finishing practice on Wednesday, the University of Arkansas continued its work for Saturday's game with the University of Louisiana-Monroe in Little Rock.
Razorback head coach Houston Nutt isn't underestimating the importance of the game, noting he believes could be the start of a turnaround for this season.
It's against an ULM squad that is 2-3 overall and 2-0 in Sunbelt Conference play coming off a 31-28 win over visiting Arkansas State last weekend.
"This the start of a new season," Nutt said. "It's the turning point. We have got to get ready to go."
If all his players took the field each day like linebacker Sam Olajubutu, Nutt thinks his team would flourish the rest of the season.
"Sam Olajubutu - just follow him," Nutt said. "He comes to work every day and I guess that is why he has the most tackles in this league. You just have to follow his work ethic."
Olajubutu and the defense were missing a couple of players on Wednesday with defensive end Zac Snider not practicing because of continuing headaches from a concussion and first-team defensive lineman Marcus Harrison getting some work in before attending to some personal issues.
The Razorbacks will have injured linebacker Pierre Brown - now in the middle instead of the outside - back for this game and it now appears wideout Cedric Washington's hammy will be well enough for him to go.
"He (Washington) is a little bit better," Nutt said. "He is not full speed, but he made it through practice and pushed through. He should be okay."
Nutt would love to have all hands on deck for ULM - although tight end Jared Hicks and wideout Chris Baker are definitely out - but wants one thing even more than that.
The key for us is execute - don't stop ourselves," Nutt said. "If you look in the first four games, really we stopped ourselves. We were able to make first downs, we were able to score, but you can't stop yourself. It's too tough of a game and we play too many tough teams to put yourself behind in the count.
"We emphasized today stay on the count, stay with perfection by knowing the snap count," Nutt added. "You don't need to have an illegal procedure. You know the rules so follow them."
Arkansas will practice on Thursday and Friday morning in Fayetteville before heading out.
"We will practice here first and leave around noon," Nutt said. "We will go to the one of the hospitals - I think it is Easter Seals this year - and then go to the stadium for a short walk through and then go to the hotel."
With a full two weeks off since a 24-13 loss at Alabama, the Razorbacks are ready to play.
"They are anxious to play," Nutt said. "We had a very physical day today. It's time."
It will certainly help that Nutt expects the regular raucous crowd at Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium.
"It's bowled in as we all know and they are very loud," Nutt said. "The fans down there come to play every snap with you. We appreciate their enthusiasm and we look forward to it."
Wednesday Grid Report, 10/5
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