Tuesday Grid Update, 9/3

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said the Hogs face a tough test in their opener with Boise State. Hogs learn about J. Strain's future.

Arkansas took a step closer to the season opener with Boise State, this time in a lighter practice designed to take some pressure off the legs of the players.

The team started the afternoon with a long meeting in the team film room, getting to the practice field about 25 minutes later than usual. The Hogs then worked on polishing their game plan for Saturday night's date with 1-0 Boise State. Nutt said the Hogs would face a solid team in the Boncos.

Looking ahead to Boise State, Nutt noted the Cowboys possess playmakers at the quarterback and tailback positions.

"The first thing you notice is they play very, very hard," Nutt said. "They have a very good quarterback. He makes things happen. They also have a tailback that is dangerous. We've got to be ready to play. There is
a lot of parity in college football and you can see that from some of the upsets this past weekend. We are really going to need our fans there Saturday."

Houston Nutt, the head coach, said he wanted a fresh team and put the players in shorts and shoulder pads in hopes of taking a load off their legs.

"We'd like to be quick and fast for the opener, and we've done enough heavy work," Nutt said. "We lightened it up today without so much pads. We've done a lot of hitting this week with middle drills and it's time to get their legs back."

Brandon Kennedy, who "rolled" his ankle Monday, practiced at less than full speed. He is questionable for the opener. Center Josh Melton has been ruled out for the opener because of knee surgery three weeks ago. Wide receiver Carlos Ousley also practiced less than full speed. He's coming back from a knee sprain.

Nutt announced afterwards that tight end J. Strain has decided to give up football after battling through a series of knee injuries, the last a torn cartilage in a knee that has had two ACL reconstruction.

"I don't blame J. Strain," Nutt said. "He has decided not to pursue football. He'll support our team and get his degree. He's just had so many surgeries trying to play football."

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