Wednesday Grid Update, 10/3

Arkansas was missing another wide receiver at Wednesday's practice, but his absence should be short lived. The Hogs practiced inside Walker Pavilion.

Arkansas rebounded from a lackluster practice with a "good one" on Wednesday as the Razorbacks moved inside Walker Pavilion. Head coach Houston Nutt was pleased with the intensity, concentration and effort with the latest workout.

"We got better today," Nutt said. "I'm proud of the seniors and the leaders on this team. They did a good job of leading. That's usually where it starts and we had a good day."

Wide receiver Robert Johnson, the team's top receiver in last week's victory over North Texas, did not practice after sustaining a "minor" ankle sprain earlier in the week. He watched practice with a protective boot on his ankle. Marcus Monk was not at practice on Wednesday.

"We don't think it's serious," Nutt said, noting trainer Dean Weber thought that one day off would be all that Johnson needed to be back on the practice field Thursday and able to start on Saturday.

"If he can go Thursday, then he'll start. If not, we'll go with Reggie Fish or Carlton Salters. Dean thinks he'll be fine, though."

Nutt admitted that there were probably no real weather situations or turf conditions outside that forced the team into Walker Pavilion.

"We had a bad one yesterday (outside) and we've had so many good ones inside Walker, I just wanted to come in here," he said. "It was just to change it up after yesterday. We were pretty good in here today.

"I was pleased with what we got done in today's practice."

Nutt said the Hogs will face a team that runs similar packages in Chattanooga's Mocs this Saturday in Little Rock.

"They do a lot of the things we do, a two-back offense and the bootlegs and power plays," he said. "They will look a lot like us in what they do on offense."

That's just what defensive coordinator Reggie Herring wants, but not because the Hogs have done well against that scheme.

"We've not been very good against the two-back teams, Alabama and Kentucky, that we've played so far," he said. "That's what we need the most work on, so I'm glad to see it.

"That's what we'll see the next two weeks against Auburn and Ole Miss. Those teams are going to line up and come at us. I'm not saying this team has that kind of talent. They don't. But at least as far as assignments and what we are going to see down the road -- and that includes LSU and some others, this is going to help us prepare for those teams.

"I don't know where we are just yet as far as being able to stop that kind of scheme. I saw Kentucky line up in the fourth quarter and in the second half, and run right at us. We couldn't stop it. That's the most helpless feeling in the world.

"I'd rather see a team that passes, one of these 7-on-7 teams. There are so many things that can go wrong with the pass. They may throw it high. They may drop it. They may turn someone loose up front and you get a sack. But if they turn around, hand it off and run it down your throat and you can stop it, that's a bad feeling.

"We are looking at some things down the road to make sure we can stop that. We haven't done them yet, but we may make more changes before after Auburn. One of them might be that Malcolm Sheppard goes back to end. We've got Marcus Harrison back at tackle. Sheppard was at 275 when the year started, but he's down to 260 now. He might be better at end right now.

"For now, we are going to stay where we are at, but I don't promise that things will stay the same. In this game, it ought to be about production and what you get done on the field. If we get to next week and I don't like what I see, I might make five changes. I am not afraid to hold people accountable."

Tailback Darren McFadden is close to passing Ben Cowins for the all-time rushing lead at Arkansas. He could do it this weekend in his hometown, but that is not his focus.

"I don't think about that too much," he said. "Sure, it would be nice. But if I'm short after this week, I'll get it sometime, hopefully. That's not what is important."

Asked if he would like to keep up the number of carries that he's had in SEC games, an average of around 30, he said that wasn't his concern, either.

"I prepared my body this summer to take a lot of carries, so I don't worry about that," he said. "Some are going to think that's too many, some are going to think it should be more. I do know that if I wasn't getting say around 30, or it was less, there would be people complain that I didn't get the ball enough. I want the ball. I want to do whatever I can to help. If you don't get it, then you probably are going to say you want it more.

"The SEC is tough and it's hard to make it through the season without getting injuries no matter how you do it. But I like to get the ball."

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