Scrimmage time

Arkansas finishes up its first day of two-a-day workouts with some live work and a lot of conditioning Friday night while also learning that quarterback Casey Dick's MRI is negative, but that he also won't join fellow signal callers Robert Johnson and Mitch Mustain in Saturday night's 6:40 p.m. scrimmage at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

The good news is that an MRI and X-rays both showed that there is nothing structurally wrong with University of Arkansas sophomore quarterback Casey Dick.

But the bad news is that he is still not ready to practice and will not be involved in Saturday night's 6:40 p.m. scrimmage at Reynolds Razorback Stadium, meaning it will be at least a full week that he will have missed of practice before he returns to the field.

"All the MRIs and x-rays came back and were negative, which is very positive," Nutt said. "That's good and he is going to take two or three days. Doctors want him to rest and just do some core exercises with his stomach muscles, keep working and hopefully Monday get him back on the field and get him going. That was good news."

The 60 or so snaps that the UA scrimmage will be divided between redshirt junior Robert Johnson and true freshman Mitch Mustain, who have split those during Dick's absence.

Asked about who would trot out first, Nutt hedged.

"Both of them – both Robert and Mitch and we will just divide," Nutt said. "The first team is going to try and get anywhere between 25 and 30 plays depending on the drives."

Nutt said that the offense was making progress each day.

"We have stayed right on target," Nutt said. "There are still 10 other guys and the two other quarterbacks are getting reps and we are going to stay right on plan. Hopefully Casey can catch up and get with the other guys, keep going and compete."

None of the quarterbacks or running backs Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis or wideout Marcus Monk will not be hit as they will all be wearing green jerseys.

"They will not be hit – let's repeat that – will not be hit," Nutt said. "When you come to the scrimmage tomorrow, they are going to be wearing green jerseys and they are not going to be hit. Actually the quarterbacks might not be wearing green, but they will be wearing something else. But it is going to be something very visible."

Nutt had hoped to name a clear first-team quarterback by the end of next week, but says that might not be the case yet.

"I don't know now," Nutt said. "I've got to wait for Casey Dick and give him a chance and see how he is and give him a fair opportunity. So that may change a little bit. Just give us a little chance."

The scrimmage will be big for lots of spots on the field, not just the quarterbacks according to Nutt.

"I want to see alignments, assignments, who is going fast, who is going to make plays and execution and who is going to get the team in the end zone and keeping the ball with his teammates," Nutt said. "Defense, same thing. Alignment, assignment, chase the ball and who is going to make the tackle."

Nutt said this will be the first step toward finalizing a two-deep chart for the opener with USC in regards to the wideouts.

"This is going to be a big, big step to start lining up that two deep," Nutt said. One guy who has made a big move in the span of two days is redshirt freshman tight end Andrew Davie (6-6, 273), a former Central Arkansas Christian star who redshirted last season and made the move from offensive tackle on Thursday. A former minor league baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals organization, the 23-year-old Davie had two touchdown catches in red zone work on Friday night.

"Andrew Davie is really coming on for us and we are going to try and use him," Nutt said. "Andrew Davie has made some tremendous strides. He is an older guy, a former baseball player and an older, mature guy. So far it looks like he can really help us."

One thing that disgusted Nutt was how three kickers all missed on 31-yard field goal attempts.

"That's what's disappointing," Nutt said. "They are better than that. I've seen them do it, but you have got to do it in front of your teammates and you have got to do it in front of 72,000. C'mon, c'mon – hit the ball, The ball is on the 21-yard line. They were 31-yarders."

Those misses were by Stephen Arnold, Jeremy Davis and true freshman Dan Bailey, who had looked good on Thursday. Will Arnold has a injury and did not kick Friday and probably won't on Saturday.

Defensive tackle Marcus Harrison (concussion) also sit out along with running backs Michael Smith and freshman linebacker Ryan Powers and Chip Gregory.

"(Former Fayetteville High star) Mark Bonner is really getting a crash course and Weston Dacus has been our most valuable guy because he can go between mike to sam to will,' Nutt said. "He is a tremendous backup for us. We really count him as a starter."

Nutt did say while he was glad his players were being nominated for some awards, that should not be there focus.

"It's on paper, it looks good and it sounds good," Nutt said. "I love awards at the end of the year when we have won a lot of games there is enough gravy to go around for everybody. But we want to do it on the field. Last time we played we won just four games. It is important that we take care of our business. It's nice, we appreciate it, but it doesn't mean anything to us."

o o o

Arkansas' Friday night practice – the latter of the first day of two-a-days featured some live work and finished with a lot of conditioning work.

"It's the end of the week and you can tell the ones that are real experienced and have been through it and are tough," Nutt said. "Then you can tell the ones that have the turnoff switch and we're trying to take those guys a little bit further than they can go.

"Tonight, was one of those nights and we tried to push them into the end of the week," Nutt added. "We've had about 10 walk throughs and 10 practices so they're feeling a little sore and sorry for themselves. Not everyone. We have got a good core bunch that has been through it and are very hungry. But you have to learn how to finish."


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