Arkansas finished its last football practice of the season Wednesday with a 70-minute outside on its practice facility. The Hogs will have a walk through Thursday morning, eat Thanksgiving dinner and then fly to Baton Rouge for Friday's game with No. 3 LSU.
There were no classes on campus Wednesday which meant the Hogs could move up their practice and work outside. They've been forced to work inside Walker Pavilion on Monday and Tuesday because of early darkness.
"We had good intensity and excellent focus,'" Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said. "We have a short week with the game on Friday, but we have had a good week. Now we have 48 hours to spend concentrating on assignments, focusing on the game."
Nutt said offensive guard Stephen Parker was not able to work in any of the practices this week and is probably out for Friday's game. Parker hails from Mandeville, La., not far from Baton Rouge.
"I know he's disappointed, but I don't see how he could play," Nutt said. "We'll see what he can do in pre-game, but I think he's out."
Nutt said the team's confidence is up after two consecutive SEC victories, but the challenge is still huge.
"Winning is great medicine," Nutt said. "We've talked about that all year, what a victory would do. Now we'll see how far we've come, how we measure to LSU's ability. They are very good in all areas."
Line coach Mike Markuson likes what he's seen of his makeshift front with Kyle Roper moving to guard, Jonathon Luigs at center and Jeremy Harrell at guard.
"Roper is fine," Markuson said. "He's been at center the last two years, but he's played guard before. He knows what to do. He knows the calls. Physically, it's easier. He doesn't have to snap that ball and step right away. It should be a good situation for him."
The LSU front is quick and physical. The Tigers have destroyed most offensive line with their two inside tackles.
"The best way to describe those two guys is relentless," Markuson said. "They are strong, they get off blocks and they play with a low pad level. We've got our hands full there for sure."
Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker said this will be the test to see if his group has matured up front.
"LSU is typical for the SEC, very good up front," he said. "Auburn had a good front, too. Those are both good fronts. But what LSU has that some don't is great ability at all positions. I'm not talking about just the offensive line. I'm talking about at wide receiver, quarterback, tight end and running back. They have the entire package. That's what gives you trouble.
"We've had a good week. They've put in the work to be ready. Now we have to go play and see where we are. I'm looking forward to finding out just how far we've come. I don't know until I see this game. Ask me after the game."
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