Thursday Grid Report, 9/26

Arkansas concluded on-the-field preparations for Saturday night's SEC date with Alabama. Game time in Reynolds Razorback Stadium is 6:45 p.m. and the game is set for ESPN TV.

Arkansas worked for about one hour in shorts and helmets Thursday afternoon in their final practice before playing host to Alabama on Saturday.

"We had a good mental day, and we were sharp," said Houston Nutt, the Arkansas coach. "We are as ready to play as we can be. I think our players are excited about this game. I think we looked quick and sharp today.

"We've done things to get our legs fresh, and I think they will be for this game."

Nutt said his team will not be fooled by projections by Arkansas fans that this will be anything other than an "all-out war. Our players know what to expect. They've seen the films of Alabama."

Nutt said Matt Jones looked good at quarterback on Thursday, just as he looked sharp in every other practice during the week. Jones wore a knee brace on Wednesday, but did not wear it on Thursday.

"Our trainer wanted him to see what it felt like with the brace on," Nutt said. "Matt is fine. We told you guys yesterday that he was fine, and we've always been honest with you guys. He says he's fine, and he looked fine."

Quarterback coach David Lee downplayed any thoughts that Jones was less than full speed.

"Matt looks good to me," Lee said. "Too much has been made of the one day he wore that brace. That was something Dean Weber wanted Matt to just test out. He won't wear it in the game."

Nutt indicated that DeCori Birmingham would return punts against Bama, but that both Carlos Ousley and George Wilson are also ready for action as the punt returner.

There was a festive atmosphere in the air around Reynolds Razorback Stadium as ESPN truck crews were rolling into the lots around the stadium Thursday afternoon. ESPN commentator Ron Franklin took a tour of the stadium, then attended the workout. Houston Nutt visited with Franklin on the sideline during warmups.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories