Tuesday Grid Update, 11/20

Arkansas has plenty of bruised and battered players, but it appears most will be on hand for Friday's game against top-ranked LSU.

Arkansas finished its two days in shoulder pads with a 90-minute workout finished inside Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Tuesday. The Hogs play at top-ranked LSU at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

The Razorbacks seemed to be on the mend, although defensive end Malcolm Sheppard is listed as "very doubtful" by defensive coordinator Reggie Herring.

Felix Jones (thigh bruise) and Jose Valdez (ankle injury) both seem improved, according to coaches. Jones has practiced both days this week and seemed much better, according to head coach Houston Nutt on Tuesday.

"We've had two good days in pads," Nutt said. "Some of the wounded are starting to get back out here."

Nutt said split end Marcus Monk sat out practice to make sure he's fresh for Friday. Monk practiced on Monday. Robert Johnson, out on Monday, returned to practice Tuesday.

"We planned to alternate (as far as practice days) Robert and Marcus," Nutt said. "We sent Monk to the side today. Felix still looks good.

"We need everybody this week, every weapon we can get. When you play the number one team, you need every able body."

Herring said cornerback Jerrell Norton practiced with a limp Tuesday, but that he seemed to be improving. Cornerback Michael Grant didn't seem to be bothered by a sore hamstring and Herring was "more hopeful" of Grant's ability to play on Friday. Sheppard, he said, was "very doubtful. He couldn't do anything today, maybe just a few plays."

Herring said the LSU offense reminded him a lot as far as efficiency as the Southern Cal offense that the Hogs faced the previous two seasons.

"They may not have a Reggie Bush or a Matt Leinart, but they are the same way," Herring said. "If you crowd them, they can audible to a pass and hurt you. If you back off, they audible to a run and hurt you. They have a lot of weapons and they utilize them in great packages. And, they have a great, great offensive line. They have a right guard who is the biggest human I've ever seen. He may be 400 or 450 pounds. He is just massive."

Herring said the Hogs must be much improved on defense to play with LSU's offense.

"We were undisciplined and we didn't play our fundamentals or our technique against the pass last week," he said. "We can't play like that again and have a chance.

"What we have to do is somehow get it into the fourth quarter and give our offense a chance to win it. But we are playing a prolific offense with so many weapons at so many positions.

"The running backs, they aren't flash, but they are consistent. They have backs with great vision and quick feet. And, then they bring in the fastest player in the country with some great packages.

"At the end of the day, it's how many free gifts. We can't give up anything cheap. Cheap TDs are deflating. We've preached it every week, but we have to stop the bleeding in the back end. We've had too much of that the last two weeks.

"We stress fundamentals every week. We've got to do a better job. We are getting beat in soft coverages. We were in four deep and bit on double moves last week. We bit on them and gave up easy scores."

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