Wednesday Grid Update, 9/5

Rain throughout the day in the Ozarks forced the Hogs to go inside for their Wednesday workout. The Hogs worked hard on kick coverage and correcting mistakes from their opener.

Arkansas worked for two hours with a heavy emphasis on the kicking game Wednesday. Heavy rain in the area forced the Hogs inside Walker Pavilion for the full-pad workout.

"We had a very good day," head coach Houston Nutt said. "I don't know why, but we always seem to practice better inside. We had a lot of good on good. We were trying to work on third downs and trying to get the speed of the game.

"The emphasis has been on Alabama. The emphasis has been on Alabama since day one."

Defensive backs Matterral Richardson (pulled wisdom tooth) and Kevin Woods (sore hamstring) did not practice. Both could be back as soon as Thursday.

The Hogs will have an abbreviated workout on Thursday before taking Friday and Saturday off. Nutt said players living close to Fayetteville who can drive hom will be given the weekend off. The Hogs will return to practice on Sunday for the Sept. 15 game at Alabama.

"We'll come back Sunday," Nutt said. "Those that live too far away, a lot of them are going home with their teammates who live closer. In-state guys are taking their teammates home for the weekend. I've told them to be careful and be safe."

Defensive coordinator Reggie Herring said the Hogs were working hard against Alabama's offense, a far different attack than the Hogs saw last week.

"We didn't get tested in our base defense, our 4-3 with three linebackers and four down linemen," he said of last week's Troy game. "We will this week. Alabama will run some three and four wides, but not the basketball on grass that we saw last week from Troy. They are going to run a pro scheme, not the spread. They are going to come at us in much the same way we like to play.

"It's going to be physical, SEC football. It's going to be a good offensive line, well coached quarterbacks and backs and very physical. We are going to find out if we can play in our base. Last week we saw that we can run with four and five wide receivers who can do 4.5. We'll see a more physical team this week. This will be a very good offensive line and it will test us."

Herring praised middle linebacker Weston Dacus, senior from Searcy, for his best performance as a Razorback.

"He was out there most of the time and it was the best game of his career," Herring said. "He played very well."

Nutt called Dacus the leader of the defense. He's one of two elected team captains. Marcus Monk, out with knee surgery, is the other captain. Nutt said he would have named four captains, but Dacus and Monk were the only seniors consistently named on the ballot by teammates.

"He's leading and doing a great job," Nutt said. "He's been a great example for our team, offense and defense."

Junior tailback Darren McFadden has taken on a leadership role, too. He praised the work of some new starters in the offensive line after practice. Nate Garner, Mitch Petrus and Jose Valdez were mentioned by McFadden.

"They did a real good job," McFadden said. "It was a great job for their first time out up front. They did nice things. I think they will get better, too. They provided good blocking for the run and the pass."

Asked if he recalled his first trip to Tuscaloosa and an 80-yard touchdown run, McFadden said, "It would be nice to go down there and do that again, but I know they will have a goal to not let us run up and down the field. It will be a tough game."

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