Arkansas finished what Houston Nutt called one of the team's best weeks of workouts Thursday with a one-hour drill on the practice field. The Hogs go after their first SEC victory of the season Saturday when South Carolina visits for an 11:30 a.m. Jefferson-Pilot game.
"It was a good mental day," Nutt said. "We had a really good week. The guys are looking forward to this game. It's Homecoming and there are a lot of people back for the game, a lot of former players are around. Our guys want to play good for them."
Was it the team's best week of practices on the season?
"Pretty close," Nutt answered.
Was it because Casey Dick has been named the starting quarterback?
"Don't know, but more than that this is a team deal," he said. "It takes everyone, guys. It takes 11 on defense, 11 on offense, 11 on special teams. It's going to come down to three or four plays on each one of those teams. It's important to do it right on those three or four plays. That will be the difference right there.
"We are playing a good team that has a lot of confidence right now. Coach (Steve) Spurrier has brought along that quarterback and he's gained a lot of confidence."
Nutt pronounced the Hogs relatively healthy. Senior linebacker Clarke Moore returned to the practice field on a limited basis and will play. However, tight end Mason Templeton and offensive guard Chase Pressley are still nursing injuries and doubtful for the South Carolina game.
Cornerbacks coach Bobby Allen said the Hogs had a good week on the defensive side, too. He said he will have six capable hands ready at cornerback. Chris Houston and Michael Coe are the starters, but Allen said he will likely roll Michael Grant, Matterral Richardson, John Johnson and Shederick Johnson in for snaps, too.
"We'll rotate and play all six, probably," he said. "We are in good shape there this week. John Johnson is full speed and we've got him and Shederick ready, too."
This is a week the Hogs will have to protect against more passes to the opposition wide receivers.
"Yes, they go to the wideouts more than what we've seen lately," Allen said. "They also use the wide receiver screens, too. They have a lot of combination routes and use the wide receivers at different levels. All of that will challenge us.
"But we look forward to the challenge. Our guys have prepared for this game hard, but not any harder than other opponents. We have a lot of respect for Coach Spurrier. We also respect the speed they have at wide receiver.
"How will we rotate our corners? There's no set formula. It may be two series. It could be different from that. The game will dictate. Performance will dictate. The main thing is we have six ready and we know we are going against a good team with a strong passing attack."
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