Thursday Grid Update, 11/9 Premium Story
This story originally published on HawgsIllustrated.com
Houston Nutt
Houston Nutt
Publisher
Posted Nov 9, 2006


It's all hands on deck when Arkansas entertains Tennessee on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Ozarks.

Marcus Harrison did not practice Thursday, but Arkansas coach Houston Nutt would not rule out the big defensive tackle's availability for Saturday night's game with Tennessee.

Harrison, junior from Little Rock Mills, sustained what was labeled a mild concussion in practice on Wednesday. He watched Thursday's workout and said he would play against the Vols.

"Dean said he's probably going to be able to play," Nutt said. "He wasn't so sure yesterday, but today he said it looks better. He isn't going to start, but he may be available."

Harrison has battled injuries for the second half of the season, missing playing time after undergoing minor knee surgery. He was rounding into playing shape until he had the concussion on Wednesday.

Nutt said the Hogs had excellent concentration, intensity and focus on Thursday, wrapping up the heavy work in excellent fashion for the Vols.

"We had a good day, a good week," Nutt said. "We've done what we can and now it's about time to play. It's about here.

"I expect it to be a great atmosphere. Our students have been camping out to get the best seats Saturday night. They have a lot of passion. I know they are going to be loud and bring it Saturday night."

The Hogs appear close to full speed. Coaches indicated that both Casey Dick and Mitch Mustain both practiced well this week. Dick is listed as the starter for this week.

Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker was asked about putting a pass rush on the Tennessee quarterback.

"You ask me that, but what we are going to go out to stop hasn't changed," Rocker said. "The focus with our defensive line is to stop the run. That's what they do each week on Sunday, try to stop the run with their front. That's what we'll keep doing until they change that on Sunday."

Nutt talked about Tennessee's defensive line and passed out high praise for the Vols' tackles and ends. This could be a matchup of one of the SEC's best two defensive fronts.

"That's not our focus," Rocker said. "Our focus is to keep getting better. We all have things that we need to improve, that's every man in our defensive line. We come to practice to get better and to work.

"What people say about us as far as honors doesn't matter. We keep winning, there will be honors come our way. That's the way it works. We know that we didn't do everything right in our last game. That's what we are focused on, getting better on those things. We all have room to improve and until that's not the case, we don't need to be worried about anything except coming to work each day.

"The good news is that our players understand that and have believed in hard work all year. That shouldn't change. It better not change. That's why I'm here, to make sure it doesn't change."

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