Wednesday Grid Update, 10/31

Arkansas worked for two hours in full pads in preparation for a nationally televised SEC game with South Carolina on Saturday night in the Ozarks.

Arkansas had another good day on the practice field Wednesday. Head coach Houston Nutt said, "So far it's been a very good week. We need one more good mental day on Thursday."

The Hogs let senior middle linebacker Weston Dacus have a day off. Both Nutt and defensive coordinator Reggie Herring expect Dacus to be fine for the South Carolina game.

"It's just that time of year with a lot of bumps and bruises," Nutt said. "It's not one thing and he should be back out here (on Thursday). We just wanted to give him one day off.

"It's just a little bit of everything. He's alright."

Herring said, "Weston has had the most snaps of everyone and just needed a day off. It's just a grind and we thought a day off would help him."

London Crawford, out with a sore knee for the last week, returned to practice Wednesday, but is still less than full speed. Otherwise, the Hogs injury list is pretty good.

"We are in good shape right now," Nutt said. "We are getting ready for a big game this weekend."

Herring added, "This is a big game. The stakes are high. That's the way it is this time of year. There are a lot of things to play for and our team knows that. Our players and coaches are all excited. You can see that."

Nutt was asked about the Arkansas seniors playing their last game in Fayetteville.

"There are some special players in this group," Nutt said. "You see a special backfield, a group with Peyton Hillis, Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. Those players have given you an awful lot in the last few years."

For sure, it's the last Fayetteville game for Hillis. It could be the last game in Reynolds Razorback Stadium for McFadden and Jones, if they go early in the NFL draft.

"They won't play together again here. We know that. Peyton has done some great things. So has Darren and Felix. Of course, I'm biased, but I don't think there's ever been a better backfield here."

Arkansas will play a team it has great respect for in South Carolina.

The Hogs won a dogfight last year in Columbia, outlasting some hot passing of quarterback Blake Mitchell.

"We all remember what happened last year, how hot they got throwing and catching," Nutt said. "We hope we can get their timing a little bit off this time, maybe give them some different looks."

Herring said he knows what they will see in a Steve Spurrier-coached team.

"We know they have two good quarterbacks and we don't know which one we'll see, but regardless, it's going to be a Steve Spurrier team. We know they are going to attack down the field in the passing game. They are going to test you vertically. They are going to throw well underneath and they are going to run the ball well.

"Last year involved different players on both sides, but we know the head coach is going to be the same. He has a system and it's been very good through the years.

"We know that in Coach Spurrier you are going against one of the best if not the best coaches of all time. It's going to be a well coached and well prepared team. We just hope that we can be in the game in the fourth quarter and have a chance.

"At the end of the day, we know we are going to see a very good team. We know what Coach Spurrier is going to do. If he can run it, he's going to run it down your throat. If you can't stop his passing, he's going to go to that, too, and keep doing it. It's a system and it's worked."

Herring said there is no question he gets more excited against a legendary coach.

"I have the most respect you can have for another coach," Herring said. "He is the ultimate competitor and if you somehow come out on top against a coach like him, then it means a lot more."

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