Razorback Watch

FIRST DOWN: Smith Is Improving Michael Smith's status for Saturday's game at Ole Miss remains uncertain, but at least Arkansas' leading rusher is showing signs of improvement.

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said Smith had his best practice of the week on Thursday, running at full speed and getting around 30 percent of the reps at tailback.

But Petrino indicated that Smith is a game-time decision because of the hamstring injury that forced him to miss last week's 23-20 loss at second-ranked Florida.

"This is really the first day he's burst and went full speed. If nothing happens as far as his response to pushing it that hard, then he should be ready to go," Petrino said. "If he has a setback, then he won't be ready to go."

Petrino said he'll have to see if Smith's leg swells up today to determine whether to play him. The senior was limited in practice this week, putting sophomore Dennis Johnson in line to make his second consecutive start.

Johnson filled in nicely for Smith in last week's loss to Florida, gaining 107 yards on 14 carries. He averaged 7.5 yards per carry and added another 124 yards in kickoff returns in his first start of the season.



TWO-MINUTE DRILL

• Petrino said wide receiver Joe Adams will meet next week with specialists in Little Rock. The sophomore has been sidelined since suffering what has been described as a mild stroke, and he'll miss his third consecutive game Saturday.

Adams returned to practice this week, though in limited action. Petrino said doctors cleared the receiver to run Tuesday and catch passes Wednesday.

"He didn't do a whole lot out there (Thursday). I think he got to catch a few balls, but we don't do as much individual work," Petrino said. "... He's got a trip to Little Rock next week, and we'll know more after he goes down there."

• Arkansas running backs coach Tim Horton spent one season on Houston Nutt's staff with the Razorbacks. But Horton said it'll be more unusual facing Ole Miss wide receivers coach Ron Dickerson Jr. and tight ends coach James Shibest, whom Horton considers teammates from his time at Arkansas in the 1980s.

"You've got relationships with them and their families. I've a lot of good times with those people, but at the same time, you want to beat them in the worst way," Horton said. "They're friends, but at the same time, this is all about business."



INSIDE SCOOP: Crim's Friends Appreciate Hit

It didn't take long for Arkansas cornerback Rudell Crim to get phone calls and text messages from his friends and family members who had seen his big hit on Florida running back Emmanuel Moody.

"Right after the game, I had at least 10 or more messages saying, ‘That's the Rudell that we know.' And I was capable of doing," Crim said. "I was kind of happy that I finally got that chance to let it out like that."

While Arkansas Jack linebacker Jerico Nelson has the team's most memorable hit of the season with his massive shot in the Auburn win, Crim's hit on Moody wasn't bad.

Early in the second quarter, Moody took a pitch and ran toward the right sideline. Crim said he recognized the play, shed a Florida wide receiver who was trying to block him and laid a hard hit on the tailback.

Both players went flying in midair. Moody lost 2 yards on the play, and Crim got plenty of compliments.

"I knew if I shed off the block quick enough and just force (Moody) to where it's me and the sideline, I could take a great chance of making a hit like that," Crim said.

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