"We had perfect football weather today and the practice was crisp and spirited," said Cut. "After hitting the first two days of this week, I felt we needed to back off. I felt we could get just as much out of a practice in shorts and helmets because today was geared more toward mental preparation and execution than contact. We threw and caught the ball better than we did yesterday and seem to be headed in the right direction in regard to our timing, which was off some yesterday. We still have work to do in trying to get familiar with all of Arkansas' defensive looks, but we've got time to get that done. We know Coach (Dave) Wommack (Arkansas' defesnive coordinator) is going to throw the book at us, so we have to go back in our files and make sure we've covered all our bases. He's liable to pull something out of his hat from four years ago. Our veteran players have probably seen most of it, but we have to get our younger players ready for the unexpected, so to speak."
Cutclifffe was asked about the low production from the Rebel tight ends.
"Across the board, our passing production is way down, which sometimes happens with new quarterbacks," he explained. "We have not changed anything in our passing game in terms of eliminating our tight ends, but our QBs have not used them very much this year. We have concentrated on keeping them included and I'm sure they will get more opportunities soon."
Offensive Coordinator John Latina echoed some of Cut's sentiments about Wommack.
"With Coach Wommack, we know we are going to see multiple defensive fronts and multiple blitzes out of each of those fronts," Latina noted. "He's got a young group this year and has had some injuries, so we are preparing for everything we've ever seen in his package. Because of the problems he's had, we have to anticipate him throwing a lot at us to try to get a winning edge. That has been his M.O. in the past and I don't see it changing. It is fortunate for us that we had an extra few days to prepare for everything because he presents you with a lot of problems with his scheme.
"Arkansas has two veteran, dominant players up front and excellent perimeter speed. Their young guys in their system are fast enough to make up for their mistakes. They play hard and they are physical. Like our offense, their defense has made youth mistakes and has been hampered with injuries which has hurt their continuity some, but they are a good bunch. We have a lot of respect for them - we expect old-fashioned, hard-nosed, disruptive Razorback defense Saturday."
For the Rebel stoppers, freshman LB Garry Pack says he is getting more and more comfortable in the Rebel scheme.
"I know just about everything about the system now. I feel a lot more comfortable with the calls than I did just a month ago and each day I learn a little more," he noted. "I'm not able to play more and not think as much. It's getting natural. My one drawback is learning to use my hands better in order to get off of blocks from offensive linemen. Other than that, I feel I have made good progress."
TB Vashon Pearson, who missed practice yesterday with a stomach ailment, returned to practice today and said he is fine. . . DT Andrew Wicker (knee scoped) ran some at practice today, but did not dress out. . . DE Jayme Mitchell (broken foot) was not at prctice today and is still on crutches. . . Everyone else appears ready to go for Saturday.
On one of the last plays of practice, QB Robert Lane connected on a bomb to WR Larry Kendrick against the first team defense. Nice throw and catch. Kendrick ran a down-out-and-down pattern and got behind WS Charles Clark. Lane laid the ball in perfectly. . . Ethan Flatt, who will most likely start against the Hogs, and Lane got the bulk of the snaps with the number one offense while Micheal Spurlock directed the number two offense.
The left DE slot is still being manned - in Mitchell's absence - by Brandon Jenkins and Corvelli Haynes. We look for them to split time there until DE Coach Marion Hobby figures out who has the hot hand. Dedrick Clark is getting most of the snaps behind RDE Cory Robinson in Haynes' normal spot.
Beyond left DE, there are no depth chart changes, even though we expect to see more of Kendrick in the WR rotation and Jamal Pittman in the TB rotation.
Wednesday Practice Report:
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