Luigs and Harrell to Start on Offensive Line

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – On Thursday afternoon Arkansas (3-6, 1-5 SEC) wrapped up preparations for its game against Mississippi State (2-7, 0-6 SEC) with a 75-minute practice. After workouts the team found out the conference match-up with the Bulldogs at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock was sold out.

“I just found out it’s going to be a sellout in Little Rock,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “I appreciate the people from Northwest Arkansas traveling down to Little Rock and I appreciate the Little Rock fans. That’s quite a statement, to follow a team that’s not going to post-season play. We appreciate that.”

Freshman quarterback Casey Dick continued to improve and Nutt is confident the starter will be fully recovered from his illness by Saturday.

“We’ve had a good week of preparation,” Nutt said. “Casey had a good day for the second-straight day. He’s still coughing a little bit, but he’s going to be fine. Some of injured guys are moving around better, so hopefully by Saturday they’ll be much, much better.”

Nutt also discussed the status of senior center Kyle Roper. Roper has sat of practice the entire week with a knee injury and will not start against MSU. A game-day decision will be made about whether or not he plays. Freshman Jonathan Luigs will take over Roper’s starting spot under the QB, while junior Jeremy Harrell will line up at guard in place of Luigs. The last time Luigs started at center was against Louisiana-Monroe on Oct. 8.

“We’ll see at game time, but he (Kyle Roper) will not start,” Nutt said. “It’s tough (to start when you haven’t practiced), but if there is one who could do it, it would be Kyle. I feel good (about Jonathan Luigs and Jeremy Harrell). We’ve given Jeremy a crash course the last few weeks. The thing you love about him is he’s high energy and he is wanting to learn, but there’s a lot thrown at him.

“They’ve (Mississippi State) had two weeks, so you don’t know which different things we’ll see,” Nutt said. “That’s one thing we had to help him out with early on.”

The Bulldogs and Razorbacks will face each other on Nov. 19 at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Ark., and it will be the final Little Rock game for 12 seniors. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the game will not be televised.