Thursday Grid Update, 10/2

What are the Arkansas plans for Florida? Perhaps not as much as their plans in previous weeks. Bobby Petrino hinted at what awaits the Gators.

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino didn't give away the game plan Thursday when he met with the media for the final time before playing host to Florida on Saturday. But he did hint that it wouldn't be as big a game plan as in past weeks.

"We cut back on some things," he said after Thursday's workout on the practice field south of the stadium. "We hope that will eliminate some of the assignment errors."

Pressed later, Petrino said it would be a smaller game plan on offense and fewer schemes on defense than what the Hogs had taken to the games in their first four games.

"Cutback just means the volume of the game plan is smaller," he said. "It's number of plays, it's schemes on defense.

"What we saw on video was hesitation and that probably means they don't know something well enough. You cutback and try to know it better."

Petrino said that was part of the focus this week, but he also said the Hogs worked on "attitude" in the wake of the 52-10 loss to Texas.

"We started working (on attitude) on Sunday," Petrino said. "We wanted to make sure we weren't sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves. We wanted to be positive and understand that we are all blessed with some talents.

"We asked our older players for leadership and they responded. We had better leadership in practice -- from guys like Loncon Crawford, Michael Smith, Jonathan Luigs, Wendel Davis and Elston Forte. Those players responded and helped."

Davis hasn't played much after missing spring with ACL knee reconstruction. But he played well in the second half against Texas and will likely start at one of the inside linebacker spots this week, according to defensive coordinator Willy Robinson.

"Wendel helps our defense," Petrino said. "He's phuysical and he played well in the game."

Petrino emphasized that the Hogs are not in a horrible position despite their last two games, both lopsided losses.

"We are 2-2," he said. "It's not the end of the world. We just need to play better and stay in the game this week. We need to keep ourselves in a position where we can win it in the fourth quarter."

Petrino was asked if the Hogs worked this week on stopping Heisman Trophy quarterback Tim Tebow. That brought a chuckle from the UA head coach.

"Certainly, we went out and practiced against what he does," he said. "We did work hard on everything he does."

Reserve quarterbacks Ryan Mallett, Jim Youngblood and Alex Mortensen all took turns portraying Tebow in practice with the scout team.

"He does a lot and there is a lot of running involved, so we split it up among those three," Petrino said. "We rotated. There are naked runs, boots and sprintouts and they did a good job of getting in the film room, studying what he does and executing it for our defense. They've done a nice job this week."

Petrino said Ernest Mitchell's "scope" knee surgery went well. The head coach said he was hopeful that Mitchell might beat the rehab prospects of four to six weeks and return sooner than expected. He also said defensive end Damario Ambrose, hobbled in the Texas game, had a good week of practice and is available against Florida.

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