Atlanta Falcons news and notes
Logan Helps Keep Redshirt On Coleman
"We had every intention to play Rod, but the way Cedric Logan stepped up during the game, I think it really motivated him," said Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. "I didn't want Louisiana-Monroe to be the one game (Coleman) plays, then all the sudden, he's getting one play a game the rest of the year. I didn't want to waste it."
Nutt said that they may try to keep the redshirt on, adding that Coleman "deep down" would prefer to redshirt.
"(Coleman) got a lot of work last week, he's going to get a lot of work this week and we'll see where Cedric Washington is before we make the final (decision) on that," Nutt said.
It wasn't Logan's performance alone. Nutt also praised receivers David Thompson and Dedrick Poole. Freshman flanker Reggie Fish, a 5-foot-7, 154-pounder, looked like a human joystick while spinning out of tackles on a nifty seven-yard reverse.
"There's a role for Fish," Nutt said. "There's a guy that I think can really help us in a couple of areas and he's gaining more confidence as he plays. I think you can do something with him on a screens, like the little reverses and throw it out in the flat to him. You've got to run and gather to him to cover him up now, because he can make the first guy miss.
"He moves the crowd and moves our teammates."
With Washington's status for Saturday's game against No. 21 Auburn unclear as of Sunday, Nutt may have to rely more on receivers like Logan, Fish, Poole and Thompson to fill the void this week.
Jonathan Luigs started at center in place of injured regular Kyle Roper (strained knee) which gave Chase Pressley his first career offensive start at right guard, the spot normally occupied by Luigs.
They were tested throughout the first half with a variety of blitzes from ULM's aggressive defensive front.
"We were a little nervous going into the game without Kyle Roper," Nutt said. "If Roper is healthy, we'll probably go back to Luigs at guard. But Chase had a good game now. He got his man, didn't turn anybody lose. He did a great job of pass protecting and that's the thing I always worry about with a new guy with (the blitzes) coming at you. All he did was help us.
"Once we settled down and figured out which way they were going to blitz, the offensive line did very well and protected well."
One of the few breakdowns didn't involve a blitz. It led to the Indians' only sack when quarterback Robert Johnson was tackled in the end zone for a first quarter safety. Left tackle Tony Ugoh was beaten to the inside by ULM defensive end Brandon Guillory, who runs a 4.5 second, 40-yard dash.
"(Ugoh) just got out maneuvered," Nutt said "(Guillory) is very, very quick and that guy can rush. He's gotten sacks in every game, no matter who the competition is."
After giving freshman Marcus Shavers his first start at defensive tackle, Arkansas began rotating Marcus Harrison and Fred Bledsoe in for most of the second and third quarters. Harrison had five tackles, including his first career sack. Bledsoe, who didn't play at Alabama two weeks ago, did not record a tackle.
"(Shavers) had a good week and we're just trying to motivate that bunch, keep them going," Nutt said. "I thought (Harrison) had one of his better games. He played extremely hard and probably didn't get but about 20 plays. Bledsoe probably played the hardest he's ever played. I think he played about 12 or 14 plays.
"We're about to jump back into the (Southeastern Conference) and the level of competition is going to go up a notch and all we're trying to do is get these guys playing at their best."
Nutt said defensive ends Desmond Sims (8 tackles) and Anthony Brown (5 tackles) graded out well. He also applauded the play of reserve ends Jamaal Anderson and Zach Snider.
Snider, who missed practice time last week with a concussion, made six tackles with two stops for loss, a sack and two quarterback hurries.
"(Snider) is playing hard, he did good," Nutt said. "He's another one that's been hurt quite a bit, but he's a guy that's motor is always running. He got in 44 plays. We need him right now. We need him to keep coming."
Despite Snider's play, Nutt said Sims and Brown will remain the starters.
Kelly, Johnson Shine
With Arkansas spending most of the game in its dime package with six defensive backs on the field to counter ULM's passing attack, safety Randy Kelly and cornerback Shedrick Johnson saw significant action.
"Kelly probably had his best game for us," Nutt said. "He's still got to keep getting better. I worry about him taking that shot with his head. Against better competition like Auburn or Georgia, you've got to wrap up. But I love his toughness. He played much better.
"I really thought (Johnson) played hard and competed hard. He has a great look in his eye and did a good job for us."
Kelly, who started six games last season, had five tackles while Johnson finished with a career-high four stops.
Nutt didn't hear the loud applause that erupted from the 54,209 fans in War Memorial Stadium after Robert Johnson threw a deep pass to Logan that fell incomplete.
"That was good then. I'm glad they cheered," Nutt said. "I wish we would have completed it. I would have stood up and cheered if we completed it."
It was one of several shots the Hogs took downfield that were unsuccessful. Nutt said after the game that they will continue making a conscious effort to establish a deep passing threat.
The longest completion this season was a reception by Peyton Hillis on a pass in the flat that he turned upfield for a 29-yard gain against Vanderbilt.
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