Quiet Monk

FAYETTEVILLE --Arkansas receiver Marcus Monk started the year with high expectations.

The sophomore receiver was named second team all-SEC in the preseason after turning in a 37-catch, 569-yard season as a freshman.

With five games left to go, Monk is still on pace for more catches than last year. However, Monk has seen less and less balls thrown his way since the Razorbacks' 24-13 loss to Alabama on Sept. 24.

In that game, Monk was thrown to 10 times, catching four passes for 47 yards.

In the two games since --a win over Louisiana-Monroe and a loss to Auburn --Monk has only been thrown to 11 times and made just three catches for 44 yards.

Defenses have been dictating the Razorbacks look elsewhere in the passing game, Arkansas passing game coordinator Roy Wittke said.

"We've seen teams doubling up on him," Wittke said. "They've made a conscious effort to take him away from us and in some cases, they have, and it's forced us to go other places."

Monk, though, said he hasn't seen all that many double teams, especially last week in the Razorbacks' 34-17 loss to Auburn.

"Against Auburn, they played mostly man, a little two but the previous games it was more like cover two schemes," Monk said. "I really don't know. I'm just going out there and just working hard, just going hard every play. That's all I can do."

Monk caught an 18-yard pass from Robert Johnson on the Razorbacks' second play from scrimmage against the Tigers but didn't have another catch the rest of the night. Johnson threw incomplete to Monk two plays after the catch, but didn't go his way again until throwing three times to Monk in the final 3:37 --all incompletions.

With teams seeing Monk for the second time, what was good enough for big numbers last year won't work now, Wittke said.

"It's kind of like being a rookie in the major leagues and you make it through the circuit one time and now you're on your second time and people know him and know us a little bit better and they've tried to do some things," he said. "But we're continuing to try to move him around and that's one thing he has been able to handle.

"We're asking him to do more things to do everything possibly we can to put him in a position to be productive."

There's also been more of an effort to get the other receivers involved in the passing game.

"There was a conscious effort to get the ball to Cedric Washington and Cedric Logan and, in the last two games, those guys have responded in a positive manner," Wittke said. "That's what we need to continue to do."

Logan and Washington, though, have yet to combine for more than five catches in a game and in only one game (Vanderbilt) did they both make catches.

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