Thursday Grid Update, 9/6

University of Arkansas coach Houston Nutt is sharply ciritical of how his team practice Thursday and got their attention with lots of extra running after the workout.

Univesity of Arkansas head football coach Houston Nutt was not a happy camper after Thursday afternoon's practice.

No talk of being special or bouncing around or having a great day.

"That is not how you practice," Nutt said. "There is only one way you practice and that's you practice with a purpose to get better. You either get better or you get worse. We got worse today. You can't do that. We are in too good a league. We are in the toughest league in America and there is no way you practice like that."

To end what was scheduled to be a one-hour practice that went much longer, the UA coaches sent the players through much more running than usual.

Nutt did his post-practice press conference and then left to attend Arkansas Baptist's junior college game with NEO in Little Rock with his players still running under the guidance of other coaches.

"Boy, after a real good practice yesterday, that was disappointing today," Nutt said. "I thought our mindset was just horrible.

"After so good a workout yesterday with people knowing their assignments and playing hard, that was a big disappointment today," Nutt continued. "I am trying to make a real point."

Nutt expected that with Friday and Saturday of the open week off and a one-hour practice slated, he would get maximum effort from the Razorbacks.

"I was hoping that we would have enough leadership and enough maturity to say ‘you know what, we are going to go so hard for 12 periods. Coach Nutt is kind of rewarding us and we are going to go so hard.'

"If I didn't have to go to this junior college game, we would probably still be out here practicing," Nutt continued.

Nutt says Sunday will now be a much tougher day than he had planned because of the poor effort on Thursday.

"I am glad we had a bye week and all that, but I am ready to get back Sunday and we will go to work Sunday at 3:30 p.m. with an extended full padded practice."

As for the message he wants to send, Nutt summed it up in a few words.

"You better buckle it up, better buckle up both chinstraps and be ready to go because SEC play is coming Sunday," Nutt said.

Starting quarterback Casey Dick did not practice because of pink eye on Thursday and that allowed back-ups Nathan Dick and Nathan Emert to get all the snaps.

"We have split them up between Nathan and Nathan this week," Nutt said. "Nathan Dick got a lot of reps today."

Arkansas' coaches will hit the road recruiting Thursday night and Friday night.

"It's an open week so Friday night we don't have a game to prepare for," Arkansas assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn. "So we are going to go out and try to see some guys. We always start at home.

"We are try to see some guys that are already committed and some that we need to evaluate more," added Vaughn.

Arkansas coaches are expected to see players from Bearden, Little Rock, Texarkana, Watson Chapel, Fayetteville and Russellville among others on Friday night.

The coaches will all be watching Alabama take on Vanderbilt on television Saturday.

"Maybe not as much depth as in the years past, but really just big-time athletes and we all know what kind of game it was last year," Nutt said. "It is a hard-nosed, physical battle. They have great receivers – big, tall guys – and a veteran type quarterback with a lot of experience and a defense that is very, very athletic.

"This will be a interesting game between them and Vanderbilt this weekend."

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