The scrimmages are over. Saturday Arkansas scrimmaged – in the stadium and indoors – for the final time before the season officially kicks off against Louisiana Tech two weeks from now.
It was a nasty, wet scene in Razorback Stadium for the first part of the scrimmage. The weather actually turned out to be a good thing, Bret Bielema said. The head coach wanted to work some with wet footballs to see how the players would handle the elements, and for the most part, they did fine.
It didn’t take long to realize Arkansas wasn’t going to go all out as far as tackling goes. The first-team offense and defense were primarily in wrap-up mode while the second team and developmental guys went full speed with tackling.
A number of first team guys were wearing non-contact jerseys Saturday, including Devwah Whaley (shoulder), who showed out in last week’s scrimmage, Keon Hatcher and Anthony Antwine. All are nursing shoulder injuries right now, but shouldn’t be serious.
Arkansas has had several guys go down with serious injuries lately, but Bielema gave some good news following the scrimmage regarding Dominique Reed and T.J. Hammonds. Both are running in the pool, and have “worked hard in rehab.” Reed should be able to join the team by Tuesday or Wednesday of this upcoming week and be good to go by game week. Arkansas won’t practice Monday as classes begin. DJ Dean, who many thought might see a redshirt year early in the week, could be back by Tuesday, Bielema said, following Britto Tutt’s knee injury.
Up front, Bielema says he thinks the staff has settled on an offensive line (L to R): Dan Skipper, Hjalte Froholdt, Frank Ragnow, Jake Raulerson, Colton Jackson). Earlier in the week Bielema said he hoped to have a starting front line set by the first day back to practice next week, and it looks like he pretty much does. Although he said “nothing is set in stone,” it appears this is the group that he and Kurt Anderson like the most.
In kicker news, Cole Hedlund will be the first-team kicker (!!). Bielema says Arkansas had a clean, perfect day kicking field goals – even in the rain. So there’s that.
Quarterback was also a position to watch Saturday. After Austin Allen at QB1, Cole Kelley and Ty Storey got the reps. Bielema said he wanted to see what those two guys could do with more reps, and they got quite a few. Also, Kelley could be looking at a redshirt year, or he could also be the No. 2. It appears it all depends on how the next few practice days go. A decision will be made soon, Bielema said.
On the defensive side, (personal note) McTelvin Agim is a monster of a man. Walking behind him once the scrimmage moved to the indoor facility I couldn’t believe how massive he is. He was carrying a small Gatorade bottle, and it was just comical how much smaller he made it look. OK, I’m done.
Bielema continues to be impressed with Scoota Harris at linebacker. The kid is really physical, moves well and the coaches all like how active he is. De’Andre Coley picked off Cole Kelley in the outside portion of the scrimmage. That was about the only turnover I can remember. He also said defensive lineman Bijhon Jackson had a good week.
Here are some stats from the scrimmage:
That was a 98-play outdoor/indoor scrimmage with rain. No tackling vs 1s so all stats w/asterisks. Allen 15 of 21, 158 yds, TD— Thomas Murphy (@TomMurphyADG) August 20, 2016
Like the tweet says, with the 1s not tackling, take them with a grain of salt.
At No. 2 QB, Peavey DNP (back), Storey 2 of 9, 26 yds (WRs had couple drops), Kelley 8 of 15, 127 yds, INT & TD— Thomas Murphy (@TomMurphyADG) August 20, 2016
RBs: Rawleigh 5-42, Whaley 9-27, again no tackling so approximate yardage; Duwop 10-30, Day 9-20. DNP: Walker, Merrick, Reed, Beanum— Thomas Murphy (@TomMurphyADG) August 20, 2016