Razorbacks Break in the Pads in 55-Play Scrimm
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas put on the pads and put the ball down on Saturday afternoon as the Razorbacks staged a 55-play live scrimmage in front of an estimated crowd of 1,000 fans at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The scrimmage was the culmination of the Razorbacks’ first day of two practices this fall. Arkansas went through a light workout in the morning before taking to the game field in the afternoon.
“We really appreciate the fans coming out today,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “It was a good atmosphere for our players, especially our younger players to be able to feel some game-like conditions. It was a good scrimmage. We are off to a good start. We have a long ways to go, but I love the intensity and the attitude of our guys. We’ve just got to keep going.”
Saturday’s scrimmage was the first opportunity for a bevy of Razorback newcomers to make their case for playing time this season. With only four starters returning on offense and defense combined, the 2004 class of newcomers sees an opportunity to contribute early.
“I always remember what Coach (Frank) Broyles and Darrell Royal always said,” Nutt said. “When they are young, they are these baby puppies. And if they bite when they are young, they will bite when they are a little older. We’ve got some younger puppies that will come after you. I’m really excited about those guys.”
Junior tailback Dedrick Poole led all rushers with 24 yards on only one carry. Poole suffered a hip pointer in Wednesday’s practice and has been limited since that time. Freshman Kyle Payne earned 23 yards on six carries while junior De’Arrius Howard racked up 22 yards on five totes. Freshman Peyton Hillis looked impressive with 18 yards on three carries including a 13-yard touchdown run.
Arkansas starting quarterback Matt Jones turned in an efficient outing completing all four of his pass attempts for 51 yards including a 27-yard strike to Cedric Washington. Redshirt freshman Robert Johnson completed five of 10 pass attempts for 65 yards and the only passing touchdown of the day. Johnson connected with senior Steven Harris for a 32-yard score.
Harris led all receivers with three catches for 49 yards. Washington hauled in two passes for 33 yards. Seven other Razorbacks tallied one catch a piece. Junior placekicker Chris Balseiro hit an extra point and four field goals in as many attempts on Saturday. Balseiro split the uprights from 20, 20, 33 and 47 yards, respectively. Senior David Carlton nailed a pair of 47-yard kicks after missing on a 37-yard try.
Junior outside linebacker John Jackson paced Razorback defenders with six tackles and an interception. Jackson snared a Landon Leach pass on the only offensive turnover of the afternoon. Senior Marcus Whitmore and junior Pierre Brown each earned four tackles and junior Sam Olajabutu tallied three tackles, including two for loss, in the scrimmage. Senior Elliott Harris tallied three tackles including the only sack of the day.
Arkansas will return to the practice field on Sunday at 3 p.m. The Razorbacks are scheduled to practice twice on Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week before staging another scrimmage on Saturday at 6 p.m. as part of Fan Day activities.
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