Razorbacks Report:

Johnny Gibson steps up, impresses

By: Bob Holt , Tom Murphy
Published: Thursday, November 10, 2016
Arkansas offensive lineman Johnny Gibson (62) runs Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, during practice at the university's practice field in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas offensive lineman Johnny Gibson (62) runs Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, during practice at the university's practice field in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas offensive line coach Kurt Anderson noticed the difference in sophomore Johnny Gibson's commitment a couple of week ago.

Anderson passed along his thoughts to Coach Bret Bielema and offensive coordinator Dan Enos during the Razorbacks' bye week, and Gibson made a successful first start -- with a couple of penalties thrown in -- during Arkansas' 31-10 victory over No. 11 Florida.

"I kind of mess with him a little bit and say, 'Hey, who's gonna show up today? Is it gonna be Gibby or is it gonna be Gubby?'" Anderson said. "When Gibby shows up, Gibby can play with anybody in this conference. But he was wildly inconsistent."

Gibson took Bielema up when he asked if there were any players ready to compete for a starting job.

"What I saw from him ... was a guy who started getting more consistent, started spending more time with getting office hours with me and asking questions. And it was showing up in practice."

Gibson, a 6-4, 344-pounder from Dumas, played physical and showed agility as a pulling guard against the Gators' vaunted defensive front. When Hjalte Froholdt sprained an ankle in the second quarter, Gibson swapped from right guard to left guard and didn't miss a beat.

"Johnny played awesome," tackle Dan Skipper said. "Having not played really at all, to go out there and strain and knock people around and be physical, that was great to see."

Skipper said it was extra impressive when Gibson filled in for Froholdt.

"It wasn't even between drives or anything," Skipper said. "It was the next play. That just shows the athleticism that kid has. He's a heck of an athlete, and he's finally putting all the pieces together."

When asked about the differences between Gibby and Gubby, Anderson said, "He hasn't been practicing like Gubby for a while, so that's good. I don't know that guy anymore."

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Orgeron's visit

Ed Orgeron made a visit to an Arkansas practice in the fall of 2014 after a speaking engagement at the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club. Orgeron was out of coaching in 2014 before joining the LSU staff as defensive line coach in 2015.

"I was always impressed with Coach [Bret] Bielema's size on his offensive line and his use of tight ends," Orgeron said on the SEC coaches teleconference. "I knew Jim Chaney [was] there and just really liked his offense. I wanted to go see practice and what they were doing and I came away very impressed about his program."

Bielema said he and Orgeron shared a few stories during the visit.

"O is a great personality and a good guy to be around, a football junkie," Bielema said, pointing out that then-Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon and Orgeron had worked together on the staff at the University of Miami.

Could be cold

The forecast for Saturday night at Reynolds Razorback Stadium is calling for the temperature to be dropping from a high of 61 degrees to an overnight low of 38. The skies are expected to be clear after a sunny afternoon, but there is a 10 percent chance for rain.

LSU series

LSU will represent the fifth consecutive ranked opponent for the No. 25 Razorbacks and the seventh this season.

The No. 24 Tigers lead the series 37-22-2, but Arkansas has won the last two and five of the last nine.

Arkansas holds a 2-1 advantage in games played in Fayetteville, including a 17-0 victory over the No. 17 Tigers on Nov. 15, 2014, that snapped the Razorbacks' 17-game SEC losing streak.

Bowl forecast

Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com is now projecting Arkansas to face Coach Bret Bielema's alma mater Iowa in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30 in Nashville.

FoxSports.com's Stewart Mandel kept his projection from last week -- Arkansas vs. Pittsburgh in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29 in Charlotte, N.C.

ESPN.com's Alex Scarborough projected Arkansas to the Texas Bowl without picking an opponent.

Sports on 11/10/2016

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