Wednesday Grid Update, 8/29

Arkansas will take the heavy pads off after Wednesday's practice on a cloudy day in the Ozarks. Robert Johnson praised his offensive teammates after a 90-minute workout.

Arkansas finished its last practice of preseason camp in pads Wednesday with an excitement in the air about Saturday's season opener against Troy. Kickoff at Reynolds Razorback Stadium is 6 p.m.

"It was a good day," head coach Houston Nutt said. "We had good concentration level. We'll go to shells on Thursday with a good concentration day, work on the two-minute game and substitutions and go over some two-point plays.

"The game is finally going to get here and our guys are excited and ready for it. Guys, we've had a good camp. It's time to play."

Nutt said wideout Marcus Monk had surgery on Tuesday. The "scope" removed two very small "floating bodies."

Nutt said Monk's knee locked up earlier this week while he was bent over pulling up a rubber sleeve.

"What we found out is that there is a good healing process going on," Nutt said. "We got those floating bodies out."

Monk had the same knee "scoped" just over two weeks ago. Nutt said this would "not" put the senior back to "square one" in his rehab.

"We don't think that it will be that far back," Nutt said. "We don't think that at all. He had a good rehab going. It was good we found these (floating bodies) now."

However, Nutt would not put a timetable on his return.

"We are just going to have to see how it goes," he said. "There is really know way of knowing right now. We don't know."

Nutt said DeMarcus Love and Kareem Crowell did not practice Wednesday. Love has a sore knee cap from a dislocation last week. Crowell has a gall bladder infection.

Wideout Robert Johnson said the Hogs have gotten better every day in the passing game. He said Wednesday was one of their best days throwing and catching.

"You see Casey Dick taking charge," Johnson said. "Our sight admustments, our timing -- all of it has gotten better each and every day. You see Casey getting more and more accurate. I think the passing game -- all the things we've worked on as far as routes, timing, adjustments and protections, all those things we started working on in the spring and continued this summer and this fall -- they are all coming together.

"I think we are getting better as an offense. Today was a really good day for the offense."

Defensive coordinator Reggie Herring didn't want to discuss practice. He said he's tired of talking about practices.

"Bottom line, you need to get to a game," he said. "Practice just tells you so much. We need a game. I'm tired of talking about it. You don't know what is going to happen until you get some of these guys in a game. We need a game badly.

"I don't know what they are going to do. Do you? I think no one knows until we see a game. We need to see the real deal."

The one thing Herring didn't mind discussing was the opposition. He said the Troy quarterback presents real problems.

"He's a senior, he's played in a bowl and played well in a bowl," he said. "He has good, fast, quick skill players and a lot of them. They can hurt you in space. I think you saw him get very accurate as the year progressed last year. I would anticipate that we will get his best shot Saturday night. He's a senior and has shown a lot of poise. He's athletic and strong. He throws a good deep ball and he's improved as he's gone along."

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