Thursday Grid Report, 11/7

Arkansas finished the work week in fine fashion before traveling to Columbia, S.C., to meet South Carolina's Gamecocks.

Arkansas worked for a little over an hour to put the finishing touches on the South Carolina game plan with a heavy emphasis on special teams and the two-minute offense.

Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said the Hogs know what to expect from a solid South Carolina team and coach Lou Holtz.

"They are good and they will play hard against us this week," Nutt said. "We know we better get ready to stop the quarterback who is like another running back in Coach Holtz's offense.

"We know Coach Holtz will have them ready. It's their last game for their seniors, and I know that in meetings Coach Holtz is asking for great effort to send those seniors out in the best fashion possible. He'll have them ready."

Arkansas defensive coordinator Dave Wommack is one of five Arkansas assistants who served under Holtz during their careers. He was an offensive graduate assistant under Holtz at Arkansas and recalls those days in vivid fashion.

"All of us who have worked for Coach Holtz remember those times," Wommack said. "So, it's an important game for all of us. By the same token, he remembers us and we probably have more guys on this staff that worked under him than any other team in our league. So he will be ready for us."

Offensive line coach Mike Markuson admitted that he learned a lot under Holtz.

"He taught me a lot of ball," Markuson said. "I learned under him. When you go against a mentor, you want to put your best foot forward and play well."

More than that, Markuson wants improvement from last week's Troy State performance.

"We weren't very good, and that was obvious," Markuson said. "The film didn't lie. It was as bad as I had thought. We didn't block anyone. And, it wasn't good in any way ... there was no intensity and that goes for every man across the front ... from tight ends, to tackles, to guards from side to side. The main thing was that there was no intensity."

Markuson thinks the players have picked up the tempo this week.

"It's been good," he said. "We've worked hard and with intensity this week. I've seen solid improvement. Now, we have to take it to the game."

Linebackers coach Bobby Allen hopes he has enough bodies to finish the game, and thinks he will be fine. Both Jeb Huckeba and Clarke Moore, the top two middle linebackers, are slowed with injuries. Huckeba did practice some early in the day Thursday, but sat out the final periods of the workout.

"We have Shane Collins ready to go now," Wommack said. "He's played a bit the last two weeks and he's getting the feel of things again. Shane has gotten all the second team work this week. We also have Caleb Miller cross trained at both inside linebacker spots, and he can play in the middle. Gavin Walls could move there, too, but we'd probably go with Caleb first."

Wommack said South Carolina's offense provides some interesting twists because of the running ability of quarterback Corey Jenkins.

"He's an extra back, no question about that," he said. "They can empty the backfield with four wideouts and you'd normally substitute for an extra defensive back, but you can't because that's what they are trying to get you to do so they can run the quarterback. You have to change a few things for them because of the threat of a running quarterback. It's like what teams do to play against Matt Jones when they play us."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories