Hogs Find Turnovers

Arkansas came up with lots of turnovers against Louisiana-Monroe, but Reggie Herring wasn't sure it meant much. He knows the real schedule lies ahead.

Louis Campbell's three interceptions came against Tennessee in the Liberty Bowl in 1971. Michael Grant got his trifecta Saturday night in a 44-10 victory over Louisiana-Monroe.

Still, Grant said he planned to "talk some smack" to his coach for pulling him two plays deep into the fourth quarter to protect his second-place status on the Arkansas career interception list.

"I heard he didn't want me to pass him," Grant said. "I've got to talk to him about that."

Campbell was laughing as he jogged off the field. He nodded and grinned when asked if that was his motivation for sitting Grant at the 14:22 mark of the fourth quarter.

"I told him he wasn't going to pass me tonight," Campbell said. "Yeah, I did. He did a nice job. He'd done enough tonight."

The UA secondary grabbed five interceptions on the night. John Johnson and Matterral Richardson joined Grant in the interception column. The Hogs got another turnover on Ernest Mitchell's scoop and 9-yard fumble return.

You'd think that would have excited Reggie Herring, the Hogs' defensive coordinator. He was too busy reaching for the Maalox bottle as he thought about the November schedule facing his defense. He spent his post-game visit with the media wondering aloud if the Hogs' fairy-tale start was over.

"Cinderella is done," Herring said. "Yeah, we got some turnovers tonight, but I've said all along they'd come somewhere down the line and it wasn't something to worry about. It's the same thing.

"If you play against a careless offense, you'll get some stuff like tonight. But now it's time to shift gears. It's time to see what we've got. We are ready to play the real deal now.

"(Marcus) Harrison has a little ankle, but the bottom line is we've got to get well. We've got no time for cry babies. It's time to go to war.

"We are to the four-game part of our schedule that is not for women and children. If you are hurt, you better fake it. Cinderella is over and the pumpkin is about to change."

Really, the only important matter for the Hogs as they loaded on buses for the return trip to the Ozarks concerned the injury report. It wasn't so much Harrison's injury that Herring sweated.

"We've got to have Sam Olajubutu back," said Herring of the Hogs' defensive captain who rested a swollen knee against ULM.

"We had to rest him tonight. He still had swelling. He couldn't go. Health is the issue. We haven't been full speed since the Southern Cal game. Hats off to the kids for hanging in and playing. They just continue to fight their guts off."

The five interceptions aside, it's the secondary that Herring worries most about. He aches for the Hogs to have all of their bullets, like injured corner Darius Vinnett, a solid cover man but out with a knee problem.

"We need Vinnett back," Herring said. "What was our strong suit at the start of the season, our cornerbacks and their ability to cover, has slowly faded away. We've gone 7-1 and that's all about the kids, but we need some guys back."

John Johnson and Jerrell Norton, backup corners, did play some against ULM and gave Richardson and Chris Houston some valuable rest. But they didn't look like they could cover the kind of wideouts they'll see against South Carolina, Tennessee or LSU in the coming month.

Grant's ability to make plays at safety was a nice development Saturday night, but Herring knows the Hogs won't see those kind of floaters in November.

"We just have to bow up," Herring said, "and grow some tusks."

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