Thursday Grid Update, 11/20

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino may know who will start at QB against Mississippi State, but he didn't let anyone know Thursday.

Bobby Petrino smiled when the first question after practice Thursday concerned the battle at quarterback between brothers Casey and Nathan Dick.

"No, I haven't decided," Petrino said. "I haven't told 'em. I've got an idea in my mind as to who it will be, but I will wait (to tell them) until we get away from here tomorrow and we are away from you guys (the media)."

Petrino said both of the Dick brothers have practiced well and it could be that both play Saturday at Mississippi State.

"We could do that," he said. "I did that at Louisville. We started one quarterback and then brought in another player for the entire second quarter. It was successful."

Petrino plans to tell the quarterbacks at a meeting he always has on Fridays before game day.

"I sit down with the quarterbacks and go over the hand signals," he said. "I'll tell them then. I think they need to know the day before the game.

"Both of them have done a good job. Both of them have put in extra time. Both have competed very hard. I haven't seen the brother part come into play. I've been impressed. They've been energized. So I think it was good for the team. The players have done a good job around them. Their focus has been very good."

Overall, he said that practices have gone well over the last two weeks with the open week leading up to the trip to Starkville.

"We are ready for a game," he said. "We've had two good weeks of practice. We've worked hard. The concentration has been better. The attention to detail has been better.

"We are healthier than we've been in a while. Adrian Davis has looked good. Demario Ambrose has gotten better. It will help to have those two back coming off the edge."

The Hogs also will get offensive guard Grant Cook back this week. He's been out with a knee sprain.

"We'll rotate Cook and (Demarcus) Love at guard," Petrino said. "Both should play."

Petrino likes the way running back Michael Smith has looked this week after a shoulder injury knocked him out of the South Carolina game.

"He looks quicker and faster after some rest," Petrino said. "But we will play three. I think Brandon Barnett and Dennis Johnson have both done well and we will play all three. Brandon and Dennis should get more."

This will be Petrino's second trip to Starkville. The first came as an Auburn assistant. That was the year that the conference office tried to enforce the no noisemaker rule.

"They cut back on the cow bells that year, but I understand it's not working anymore and they are back," Petrino said with a wry smile.

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