Houston Nutt was hopeful that Marcus Monk could play a significant number of plays against Ole Miss on Saturday, but did not predict that. Offensive coordinator David Lee seemed more cautious.
"Marcus wants to play," said Nutt, the Arkansas head coach. "I know he'll do everything he can (this week) to be on the field (against Ole Miss). He wants to play and we want him to play, too."
Does Nutt think Monk wil play a significant role this week?
"I hope so," he said, but nothing further.
Lee wasn't sure what role Monk could play against Ole Miss.
"Marcus is pushing," Lee said. "But he is not quite ready. Will he be in the next 72 hours? I don't know.
"I encouraged him to get into our one-on-one drills with the defensive backs today and he didn't feel like he could do that. He can't get out of cuts yet. If he can get out of cuts, he can play. He's trying real hard to make it back.
"At some point, you have to break through that scar tissue and come off cuts. He's getting closer. I think it's a matter of getting off the line of scrimmage and making cuts."
Nutt said it was a "good day" of practice on Tuesday.
"We practiced hard," he said. "We asked them to hit another gear this week. They had a good day of concentration, a good practice."
The Hogs took off the leg pads, but had on shoulder pads and helmets on Tuesday.
"We still had some of the pads on and we got in a lot of hard work," he said. "The guys are working hard. It starts with protection. We worked on protection hard today. I liked the way we practiced today."
Nutt said that Ole Miss and Arkansas are "very similar." He said both teams have had near misses in their early SEC schedule.
"We could very easily be undefeated and so could they," he said. "The truth of the matter is that both of us are looking for their first SEC victory."
Coaches and players alike said the Hogs looked at some new wrinkles on Tuesday, but the verdict remains out on what will be available at Ole Miss.
"We tried some new things," said running back Felix Jones. "We are working hard to get better. I thought our offense practiced hard and the offensive line was flying around and working as hard as they could to get better."
Lee said, "We looked at some things, some new things. We'll see what it looks like on film. We'll keep some of it and throw some of it out. We'll see what we can do best, but we did look at some new things. We were a little rough with some of it today. We'll look at film tonight and make some decisions."
Lee said Lucas Miller continues to work hard and make plays at wide receiver.
"He had a good day," Lee said. "We are looking for someone to step up. He made two very nice catches Saturday night."
Asked about the run-pass mix against Auburn, Lee said, "WE 55 plays and there were 30 throws (counting sacks and all called pass plays out of the huddle). The problem with this past game is that we were not running the ball like we were in past games. That changes everything. We've been very good with the run. We've led the SEC four of the last five games."
Asked about the success of some trick plays at the end of the game, Lee said, "You don't come out of the chute running trick plays. You have some things you set up as the game progresses. You don't shoot all of your bullets at the start. You don't come out trying ot hit home runs. You set them up. The thing is we were not running the ball very well. You need to run it better to set some things up. We started off fine with the passing game with Casey completing six of the first nine. We were trying to get some field position and also avoid turnovers.
"The way the game was going, it was kinda like an old Ken Hatfield game with defenses dominating. You didn't want to turn it over and give up field position."
As far as the Wildhog formation, Lee said, "It's clear other teams are better prepared for it. We ran 60-something plays in the Wildhog last year. Other teams have a pretty good idea of what that's going to be. The element of surprise is gone. Everyone has researched that pretty well. It's not as effective this year. I will say that the big pass interference penalty at the end was out of that formation."
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