FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Razorback football team continued spring practices with a two-hour scrimmage Friday afternoon. The squad practiced inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in full pads.
"I was happy with the scrimmage," head coach Bobby Petrino said. "I thought it was very competitive. Both sides of the ball had times during the scrimmage where they made plays. I thought the defense played physical, they run to the ball and they tackled well. I liked what I saw from some of the running backs. We need to get more consistent at quarterback with handling pressure and doing things right on the line of scrimmage. We ran a lot of plays, did a lot of hard work and we had a lot of physical play. I think when we go back and credit, we’ll see that it was very competitive."
Arkansas’ group of tight ends saw lots of good work and numerous reps during Friday’s practice. Petrino explained getting good work in with the group was planned in advance.
"It was a focus today," Petrino said. "We had a little list of things we wanted to get done with D.J. Williams and we feel like Chris Gragg needs a lot of work. He’s very talented but he’s a little bit behind in his technique and how he runs routes. Gragg can certainly catch the ball when you get it around him and they both run well with the ball after the catch. I think Austin Tate is doing a really nice job of blocking and he’s able to play as a tight end and a fullback. He really did an excellent job during his redshirt year of gaining weight and strength."
Arkansas’ receivers also saw a lot of action during Friday’s practice. Soon-to-be junior Greg Childs led the team in receiving yards. He hauled in six passes for 109 yards.
"We weren’t necessarily calling plays to throw to our receivers," Petrino said. "I think the defense made us throw to them. The defense dropped back a little more and played a little more zone coverage. It gave us the opportunity to dump the ball in the back and those guys can make plays when they catch it."
Soon-to-be sophomore Ronnie Wingo, Jr. led the squad is rushing. He had 12 carries for 63 yards and two touchdowns. Petrino is pleased with the progress made so far but stresses to his team there is still work to be done.
"I think we are doing a lot of good things," Petrino said. "I think we are on track. We had one day where we didn’t do things right on the practice field and that starts with your concentration and focus in the meeting room. We are pushing these guys hard. It’s time to step up the intensity, the demands, making sure we are doing things right, playing with great effort. I don’t expect assignment errors and I thought we were a little sloppy today. We need to clean up our penalties offensively. We were using four different quarterbacks so penalties can happen."
Arkansas is scheduled to return to the practice field at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Razorback practices throughout the spring are open to the public. The Red-White spring game presented by Cox Digital Cable will be held at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Saturday, April 24. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.