With ESPN color analyst Todd Blackledge and sideline reporter Holly Rowe looking on Thursday afternoon, the University of Arkansas finished up its on-campus workouts for its Saturday battle with Auburn.
Razorback fans will be happy to know that this week's practices went a lot better than last week's before what turned into a sluggish 34-15 win over Chattanooga in Little Rock.
"It's getting really close – about 48 hours," Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. "I am just really proud of how our team went about its business this week. I think they realize that everybody has a job today and you have got to do it well when you are in the SEC, you have to be at your best."
Auburn (4-2, 2-1) will be trying to win its third straight league game after an opening home loss to Mississippi State and trying to hand Arkansas (3-2, 0-2) a loss that would likely squash any Western Division title hopes they might still be holding onto.
"This time of year it is time to go, time to play," Nutt said. "There was much better intensity this week and our guys know we're back in the SEC. We weren't going to accept anything less. This guys were so much better than last week – so much better."
Senior wideout Robert Johnson (high ankle sprain) was back in his boot on Thursday and not practicing after going through about half of practice on Wednesday.
"He was just a little sore," Nutt said. "He will be dressed out Saturday night and ready to go, but how long he goes we don't know. "But he'll be ready to go at least the first quarter of play."
Senior split end Marcus Monk – who has been out all season with a knee injury – did not practice on Thursday either after doing some stuff earlier in the week.
Nutt did say he has seen a couple of wideouts step up this week.
"Reggie Fish has been consistent and and Carlton Salters has really made a push and we have got confidence in him," Nutt said. "They just have to play. It is their time."
The Tigers have played well since instituting a two-quarterback system with senior Brandon Cox and true freshman Kodi Burns, who starred at Fort Smih Northside.
"We've had good preparation and we know what Brandon Cox is going to do because we know what he is about and we have played against him," Nutt said. "He has done a great job here this last two games, he has executed very well and he is throwing the ball, using his backs well with screens, draws, delays and those things.
"When Kodi comes in, you know that it is those set plays – whether it be shotgun, underneath the center or option," Nutt added. "It is more of a running game. There is no secret to it."
Auburn has a superior road team the last few years and has showed that again this year with a win at Florida.
"I don't like to go over those thoughts because they have done a great job on the road," Nutt said. "I am just really taking up all our time on our team and how we execute and getting these guys ready to play for 60 minutes. Totally, totally 100 percent that is all my mind is on."
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