Thursday Grid Report, 10/13

A year after suffering what many thought might be a career-ending injury, Arkansas' Dedrick Poole gets another shot at Auburn and wants to make the most of it.

Houston Nutt said center Kyle Roper was still questionable for Saturday's game with Auburn after the senior regular sat out Thursday's workout.

"He was real sore today after going yesterday," Nutt said. "We held him out today. We hope that in two more days he'll be able to go. We'll wait to see how he is game time."

There was some good news on the injury report. Senior tight end Jared Hicks, out for several weeks with an ankle sprain, practiced and appears ready to play against Auburn. However, tight end Wes Murphy, injured Tuesday, did not practice Thursday. He sustained a kick to the groin earlier in the week.

"We'll get him for a few plays in the game, it looks like," Nutt said. "We think he can go after watching him today."

The Hogs worked for about 90 minutes on kicking game situations, the two-minute drill and other special situations on Thursday.

There were some people who thought that the injury University of Arkansas junior all-purpose back Dedrick Poole suffered at Auburn last season would not only be season-ending, but a career-threatening one as well.

That's because it wasn't just your normal hamstring one, but one that had been torn from the bone.

But one year later not only will Poole - who had 7 carries and 44 yards in that game before getting hurt - be on the field against the Tigers once again, but he is expected to be a significant contributor as he has the Razorbacks' other five games this season.

"Nobody expected me to be back except myself, (UA head trainer) Dean Weber and a couple of his staff members," Poole said. "But they took me in, worked on me and got me back. I believed I could back and they believed in me and together we just did the hard work and made it possible."

Poole and the Razorbacks (2-3, 0-2) completed their major work on Thursday for Saturday night's 6 p.m. SEC clash with Auburn (4-1, 2-0) at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.

"We are going to strap up and come ready to play," Poole said. "This is a big one for us and we have put in a lot of hard work this week to give ourselves the best chance to win and show this state and our fans what we are made of and that it's time for them to get back on board the bandwagon."

The game comes on the heels of Arkansas' 44-15 bashing of Louisiana-Monroe, a win in Little Rock that ended a three-game losing streak for the Razorbacks and UA head coach Houston Nutt.

"A win over Louisiana-Monroe makes you feel good, just getting a W especially when you are on a three-game losing streak," Poole said, "but beating somebody in your conference always feels better. We are going in to play Auburn and we are going in hard."

Poole has lined up at H-back and wideout this season and has responded with 7 catches for 35 yards and ripped off a 7-yard run on a reverse against Louisiana-Monroe.

"I'm just trying to get in and trying to make some plays and be an asset for this team," Poole said. "I'm just trying to make a couple of plays for Coach Nutt. When he gives me the ball, I want to make the most of it."

Poole would like a few more touches, but he knows that the coaches are hesitant to do so because of wondering how much he can take it.

"I think there are still some people on this team that are in disbelief and they kind of show that to me by not putting a heavy load on me," Poole said. "But I am a college football player - a healthy one - and I am ready to handle that load."

Not that he thinks those touches need to come at the expense of the fabulous freshman tailback duo of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones.

"We've got those two fabulous freshman backs and they make it a lot easier on us than it used to be," Poole said. "But we have to compliment them as receivers and in the passing game and help them out a lot."

He's certainly glad to do so and says it's more about the satisfaction of getting back than some prideful emotion.

"Pride doesn't even anything to do it with it now, it's just going out and doing it," Poole said. "When that injury happened, all the pride I had left because I didn't have any room for it. I just went to work to help this team and that is what I hope to continue doing - maybe a little more if they will go on and throw it on me."

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