FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas held its second scrimmage of the spring Saturday afternoon inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Here’s the rundown of what Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema had to say after the scrimmage:
- Bielema calls it another “positive day” for the team.
- Wide receiver Jared Cornelius did not participate because of a tweaked hamstring. Bielema says it’s unknown if he’ll be back at all this spring. The injury is not serious.
- Running back Rawleigh Williams III (ankle) and tight end Austin Cantrell (knee) both had what are believed to be very minor injuries during the scrimmage.
- Bielema says the offense had too many penalties. He said he told the officials prior to the game to be cautious of calling any flinch from the offensive line a false start. The Hogs had several.
- The team will practice next Saturday instead of scrimmage. The spring game is 2 weeks away.
- Bielema says the defense putting in different “pressures” this week helped them have a better performance Saturday than last week and put the offense “on alert” this week.
- Bielema says there are some things “we won’t showcase” during the spring game since it is televised. He says that’s especially the case with the new 3-4 defense.
- Bielema on the defensive backs: “The good news is we’ve got 6 to 8 DBs we feel pretty good about.” He says it feels like they have significantly more capable players and thinks the incoming freshmen will add to that.
- De’Andre Coley and Santos Ramirez were the starting safeties Saturday. Josh Liddell worked with the backups after starting last week.
- Wide receiver Brandon Martin, a junior college transfer, had a good day. Bielema says he has “really good ball skills” and that he’s been a “special addition” this spring along with the other midterm enrollees.
- Bielema feels the defense limited the big plays more so than last week. The defense is still not allowed to tackle below the waist.
- On T.J. Hammonds at wide receiver: “He struggled a little bit last week [with dropped passes]. One thing about T.J., he’s got a lot of pride. I don’t think he put one on the ground out there today. What we like is when he gets the football in the open field, he’s tough to bring down.”
- Bielema calls offensive coordinator Dan Enos a “shooting star” in the coaching profession.
- Nose tackle Bijhon Jackson “took a big jump today,” according to Bielema.
- On the defensive line in general: “It’s been fun to watch those guys grow.” Bielema adds several of them are playing as well as they have at Arkansas.
- Redshirt freshman Alexy Jean-Baptiste had surgery for a broken foot and is expected to miss at least 4 months.
- Blake Johnson, who had been the starting punter all spring, rolled his ankle doing something outside of football and was not at the scrimmage. Bielema says he’s in “extreme timeout” and is not with the program. He is likely to return next week.
- Bielema felt starting quarterback Austin Allen did a good job of stepping up in the pocket and “making plays” against pressure. Bielema says because he has more experience, Allen is ahead of the other quarterbacks in that department.
- The NCAA has voted to approve a 10th assistant beginning January. Bielema’s thoughts: “I reached out to the person I was talking to. But it’s still got one more hurdle. It’s got to clear another vote at the end of the month. And then the way it’s been worded, it’s not really going to have an effect on this season. So it will be implemented in January.”
- Bielema on the backup QB competition: “Some good and some bad. They do a lot of really good things. I think Ty [Storey] has a great comprehension of what we’re asking him to do. He’s throwing the ball really, really well. And of course, mentally, he’s as sharp as they come. But he just needs reps under pressure. Cole [Kelley], he made some really good throws. But he gets into the habit a little bit of he wants to baby the throw or kind of slide it or push it in there. He’s just got to step up there and use his footwork and deliver strikes and good things will happen.”
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