Tuesday Grid Update: 10/23

Arkansas began serious preparations for Florida International on Tuesday. Game time is at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Arkansas worked for two hours Tuesday in shoulder pads and sweat pants with Marcus Monk getting his most significant time in team segments of drills. The Hogs finish their nonconference schedule at 1 p.m. Saturday against winless Florida International.

"We had a good practice," Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said. "We had a good attitude. We had a lot of bounce. We were playing fast. That is what we have to do Saturday night."

Nutt said the Hogs "got a lot out of Marcus Monk" on Tuesday. The head coach said that is "as good as he's looked." Monk has been out since knee surgery in August.

"I know you guys are going to ask me how many plays we can get from him Saturday and I don't know the answer to that," Nutt said. "But he did more today than he's done before. We'll see how sore he'll be Wednesday. That will tell us more.

"He's far more ready than he's been the last few weeks. He's got more strength. He's got more confidence. It was good to see No. 85 (Monk) out there today."

Nutt said the Hogs were not so concerned about the opponent this week, but about making improvement.

"It's all about getting better," he said. "You have to get better each week."

As far as Florida International, Nutt said, "When you watch film, you see they have gone toe-to-toe with Miami and Maryland. They have some very good players. They have a very good corner and a defensive end who will probably be drafted.

"We have to come to play. We don't want to play like we did against Tennessee-Chattanooga."

Offensive coordinator David Lee said he knows what to expect from FIU -- plenty of blitzes.

"They really bring the blitzes," he said. "On third and long, it's 70 percent pressure. That's when we've been at our worst.

"We've got to understand they know how to play. We better be ready to play. They have a very good front four. They have some speed and they know what to do."

Quarterback Casey Dick knows that there will be some blitzes.

"Yes, that's what they do," he said. "We are working against it. We had a very good practice today. We want to play well this week and are making sure we are ready."

Asked about the last nonconference game, Dick said, "Against (UTC) we were not ready. We are going to be ready this week. That is our focus, to not let that happen again."

Wide receiver London Crawford did not practice because of a sore neck. He may be able to workout on Wednesday, according to Nutt. Robert Johnson, senior wide receiver, did not practice and will probably sit out this game to rest a sore muscle near the ankle.

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