Thursday Grid Update, 10/12

Arkansas may not have defensive starter for SEMO. The Hogs wrapped up its final practice of the week on Thursday.

Arkansas sophomore defensive end Antwain Robinson did not practice Thursday and will not start on Saturday when the Hogs play host to Southeast Missouri.

However, UA coach Houston Nutt would not rule Robinson out for the game. Robinson has not practiced this week after sustaining a hip flexor injury last week against Auburn.

Southeast Missouri has his team's full attention despite lackluster play on the season, Nutt said. He said he would not try to rest players.

"We are approaching this game just like an SEC ball game, just like Auburn," Nutt said. "If our starters can play, they will play. We are not holding starters out this week.

"We want to play well and we want to play sharp. Every game counts the same. This is an important game and we are looking at it just like Auburn."

By the same token, Nutt said he'd like to play a lot of players, if possible Saturday. Quarterback Casey Dick has worked hard the last three weeks and may get some snaps in the game, the head coach said.

The key may be the play of the offensive line. That group was dominant last week in a 27-10 victory over Auburn. SEMO operates an eight-man front on defense and will try to make it a physical day for the Hogs.

"We know what to expect," line coach Mike Markuson said. "Southeast Missouri is going to play hard."

Markuson said the line played well against Auburn and graded out in solid fashion, but he said the game wasn't a string of pancake blocks by his unit.

"What you have is an offensive line that doesn't have to do a whole lot because of the nature of backs we have here at Arkansas right now," Markuson said. "We didn't just blow away Auburn. Sometimes, it was just about stepping right and getting in someone's way for a split second. You do that with our backs, they are gone.

"We did have a nice game. We had our steps right. We played a solid game and didn't bust a lot. But it wasn't like we pancaked a lot of people.

"The key this week is for us to continue to step right and know our assignments. We are going to see a bit of a different front from what we've seen. This is a team that is going to bring eight most of the time."

Nutt said the Hogs have practice well this week.

"Our concentration has been good," he said. "It's been an excellent week. I'm proud of our team. Now it's time to take it to the field.

"The key is for us to get better every time out. That's how you win games, get better each week."

With Robinson unable to start, Nutt said the Hogs will look at several players to fill his role, including Malcolm Sheppard, Chris Wade and Anthony Brown.

"I'd think Sheppard would start, but we'll have to wait and see on that one," Nutt said.

Darius Vinnett did not practice because of precautionary measures. He has a sore knee from preseason surgery. He could still play against SEMO. Marcus Harrison, who is fighting back from arthroscopic knee surgery, has struggled in practice this week.

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