Grid Practice Report, 12/3

The Hogs were without Mark Pierce as they begin heavy preparations for the SEC title game against Georgia.

Arkansas worked for two hours inside Walker Pavilion to begin full pads preparation for The SEC Championship football game Saturday with Georgia's Bulldogs.

Temperatures fell into the high 30s during the workout with moderate showers outside Walker Pavilion. Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said his squad would have conducted its special team workouts outside, but moved it inside when rains hit in the late afternoon.

Of course, the Georgia Dome is an inside facility, but features an older artificial surface than the 6-month old surface in Walker Pavilion.

"We are always thankful for this facility," Nutt said. "It's especially good to have it today. Our players had a good practice and are excited to be playing this weekend."

Nutt was asked if his players are aware that it's either the Sugar Bowl or the Independence/Music City bowls.

"We talked about a lot of things before we came out today,' he said. "We are taking the same approach we've had the last six weeks and that is to just prepare for this game and see what happens after that when we get there. I think they know that we are playing for an SEC Championship, and that's all that matters right now."

Fullback Mark Pierce left for home earlier in the day after learning that his father had died in the night of a heart attack. Nutt said it was unclear if Pierce would play on Saturday. Brandon Kennedy, De'Arrius Howard and Brandon Holmes would shoulder the fullback load this week in Pierce's absence.

"All I know is that he should be getting to his home right about now," Nutt said. "I can tell you that Mark went home with his family this weekend after the game on Friday, and I'm thankful for that. We let them go for a couple of days and he made the decision to go home and spend some time with his family."

Free safety Ken Hamlin did not practice after sustaining a deep thigh bruise against LSU. Shelton Parker and Vickiel Vaughn are Hamlin's backup.

"We won't know about Ken for a while longer," Nutt said. "He couldn't do anything today."

Defensive end Keith Turner, out since the Auburn game with a dislocated hip, practiced briefly Tuesday, but said he was in no shape to play this year. He had hoped to mount a comeback that would put him on the field in a bowl game, but that is now beyond his expectations. He said, "I'm done for the rest of this year. I couldn't go." 

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