Thursday Grid Report, 10/10

The Hogs try to find some healthy backs to face the Tigers. Jermaine Brooks assesses the team's mood after losing a six-OT heartbreaker.

Arkansas worked for about 90 minutes in shorts and light pads Thursday afternoon to put the wraps on its Auburn game plan.

It appears that Fred Talley will start at tailback, but running backs coach Danny Nutt said De'Arrius Howard will get early action, too. Cedric Cobbs, the starter last week, practiced some Thursday, but is less than full speed.

"Fred is healthy," Danny Nutt said. "His wrist is fine. He's ready to go.

"Cedric is better and getting much better each day, but I don't know if he'll play this week or not. We'll see on Saturday. He practiced a little today."

The Hogs appear closer to full speed in the offensive line with Mark Bokermann going through some light work. He missed the Tennnessee game with an ankle sprain. He was still gimpy Thursday. Jerry Reith practiced in his place at right guard. Bo Lacy was close to full speed at left tackle and should start there. It may be a gametime decision on who plays at center with Josh Melton now pushing Dan Doughty for the starting spot. Each took snaps with the first unit.

The defense worked outside for the entire practice, but the offense split time between the outside field and the indoor surface of Walker Pavilion. The session inside was closed to the media.

Arkansas defensive coordinator Dave Wommack gave Jerry Punch permission to reveal that Kelly Washington was tipping the Vols plays late in the game against Tennessee. He also said UT coach Randy Sanders didn't hear about it until the next day.

"Jerry Punch and I are old friends," Wommack said. "I told him about Kelly Washington tipping their plays ... standing straight up on runs, crouching on passes. He wanted to use it and I said he could only at the end of the game."

Punch did use it in overtime when it looked like it was going to end, and then it went three more overtimes.

"I've got no problem with him doing what he did because I gave him permission," Wommack said. "I don't think it was a factor. I talked to Randy Sanders, UT's offensive coordinator, the next day and he hadn't heard about it until then. Randy was surprised and was glad to hear it then."

Arkansas defensive tackle Jermaine Brooks said the Hogs are pumped for the trip to Auburn this week.

"We aren't flat or down like we were early last week," Brooks said. "We've been good every day this week ... with lots and lots of energy. We are ready to play. We will play good."

Dave Wommack echoed those thoughts.

"We just a little over 70 plays even with the six OTs last week, and it wasn't like the Ole Miss game where you looked out there and everyone was out of energy," Wommack said. "We had it at the end of the game, and we've had energy all week. I think we will be fine for the game this week. Our guys have practiced well every day this week. I think we've had a good, upbeat set of practices all week. I can tell that they are excited about getting better. Physically and mentally, we are fine."

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