"I'll be holding my breath," Hogs 10th-year coach Houston Nutt said. "It's a little scary. Darren and Felix won't be hit, but everyone else will."
Nutt will likely use a quick whistle to protect quarterback Casey Dick, Arkansas' only experienced signal-caller, who looked good in Friday's practice in shoulder pads and shorts.
"Casey had a much better day today," Nutt said. "And when you look at the film, the quarterbacks didn't look as bad as they thought (Thursday)."
Still, Nutt said the defense has had the upper hand so far, "and that's OK. We want to take every practice to get better."
Mike Markuson, Arkansas' veteran offensive line coach, agreed with offensive coordinator David Lee's statement this week that the Hogs have at least seven good athletes in the offensive line.
"I think we have seven who should be able to handle everything," Markuson said. "Today we worked on more 'max' protections, one-on-ones, new stuff, play-action stuff. Thursday turned into a blitzathon, with guys coming inside and outside. But we have a lot of carryover from our protections last season."
Nutt said, "I'll be looking at execution and protection (today). We need time to throw the ball down the field. The defense is ahead, but I'd feel better if we had Jamaal Anderson and Chris Houston."
Since those two defenders have left early for the pros, Nutt will not only put the first-teamers through 30 plays and the second-teamers through 30 plays, he'll likely add extra snaps to make sure everyone gets a chance to impress the coaches today.
Nutt called Friday's practice a good one, but he said, "We've got to have the same intensity in shorts that we have in pads."
Punter/kicker Jeremy Davis, perhaps more relaxed knowing that signee Alex Tejada of Springdale is expected to handle the placekicking this fall, continues to kick accurately this spring.
"Jeremy hit the ball real well today," Nutt said. "He made the extra points and field goals before practice and at the end. His leg is very strong right now and he's doing a good job."
Nutt stopped short of saying that Davis, the starting punter, would compete evenly with Tejada on placements in the fall.
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