clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Arkansas Razorbacks Spring Scrimmage Report: Everything Is...Eh

New, 7 comments

We here at Arkansas Fight are noted non-fans of spring football, but the Hogs had a scrimmage today and we decided to go anyway. Here are some things that stood out.

McTelvin Agim with Bret Bielema
McTelvin Agim with Bret Bielema
Razorbacks Communications

There was plenty of good and some bad at the Razorbacks' Saturday scrimmage.

We should probably talk about the position group that's mostly flown under the radar this offseason - the quarterbacks.

All of them made some really nice plays, but all made some mistakes as well. Austin Allen was solid, completing 14 out of 17 or 18 passes (statisticians differ) and showing nice mobility on occasion as well. He did once get flagged for attempting a pass after he'd crossed the line of scrimmage. Rafe Peavey took plenty of snaps with the second-team offense and made some nice downfield passes for large gains, including an excellent touchdown pass on a long fade. He also threw the only interception of the scrimmage. Ty Storey looked better than I ever remember seeing him in practices last year, and Bielema noted it was probably his best practice so far. All three led touchdown drives later in the scrimmage.

All three quarterbacks struggled at times taking the snap under center. At one point, the coaches basically stopped the practice and had the center and Storey complete consecutive snaps before restarting the full practice.

Ricky Town didn't appear until late in the scrimmage. He attempted and completed one pass, a 19-yarder while rolling to his right. Town also suffered an incomplete snap, but unlike the other quarterbacks, didn't appear to make an effort to pick it up. I'd think if all four quarterbacks had snap issues, it might be more to do with the center, but either way, it wasn't comforting to see.

The Razorbacks miss having a consistent senior in that center position like they had with Mitch Smothers the last couple of years. The Hogs must replace three offensive linemen, and it's still a work in progress. Brian Wallace, one of the players competing for a starting spot, did not scrimmage due to injury issues. He's expected back soon, according to Bielema.

There were several sacks, but with the quarterbacks in green jerseys, none were taken to the ground and some were questionably whistled. But the offensive line definitely could still use work. The defense looked pretty solid against the run, which should be the expectation this spring, especially considering Rawleigh Williams, Devwah Whaley, and T.J. Hammonds are not yet on campus.

Kody Walker is running the show this spring. He broke a couple of nice big runs and played well overall - including trucking poor Joshua Liddell on one run - but the defense seemed to win far more plays against the run than they lost. On one of his bigger runs, Rafe Peavey (in his green jersey and all) ran down the field to help block for him a la Casey Dick to help Darren McFadden against LSU in 2007. That was nice to see.

The pass defense was hit and miss. Arkansas' group of receivers - even with Drew Morgan sitting out in a green jersey and working as a hype man without a mic - is going to win their share of battles. And they did, although Dominique Reed and LaMichael Pettway both dropped long passes. Reed did later score a touchdown on a short crossing route. The secondary did break up a few passes and did a nice job of tackling.

Seniors Brooks Ellis and Deatrich Wise were playing well enough that Bielema pulled them midway through the scrimmage to avoid risk of injury.

The battle to replace Hunter Henry is ongoing. Jeremy Sprinkle's spot is secure, but who will be joining him? Will Gragg caught the first pass of the scrimmage and caught 4 overall, including a touchdown. Cheyenne (formerly C.J...yes this is a thing) O'Grady caught two passes and had nice runs. Austin Cantrell caught one pass and ran over a defender after catching it.

There was a scuffle midway through. McTelvin Agim and Dan Skipper got heated with each other after a pileup turned bad. Agim threw a punch but it didn't land. He went to the bench for a while afterward.

So all in all, plenty of plusses and minuses from an April scrimmage, as you might expect. There are so many pieces of this team that won't be able to play until August, so it almost seems silly to put much stock into most things from this spring session. But there didn't appear to be any serious injuries today, so ultimately it's a win.