FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas football team hit the field Saturday morning in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium for an intra-squad scrimmage during practice. The occasion left the Arkansas coaching staff with plays to remember and talking points for the rest of August workouts. Head football coach Bobby Petrino, beginning his third year in charge of the Razorbacks, saw plenty of positives from his group’s hard- hitting performance.
"We wanted to come out and be physical," Coach Petrino said. "There were times in the scrimmage that we were physical on both side of the ball. The offense started fast in the first half, executing well and made some big plays. And then in the second half, I think the defense got after the offense."
UA standout quarterback Ryan Mallett, a preseason All-SEC first-team pick, was on target in the scrimmage, connecting on 23 passes for 264 yards and one touchdown. Backup quarterback Tyler Wilson also found his groove, completing 17-of-23 pass attempts for 270 yards, with five touchdowns.
Also in the offensive backfield, Coach Petrino noticed the excellent work being done by the squad’s platoon of running backs. UA running backs Broderick Green, Dennis Johnson and Ronnie Wingo Jr. combined for 228 yards on 49 carries. Green found the end zone on three short-yardage runs.
"I thought they worked hard," Coach Petrino said. "They know the running game. They did a better job in pass protection."
After controlling much of the scrimmage during the first half, Arkansas’ big-play offense was stifled by an encouraged UA defense. Coach Petrino admired the white jerseys on his team for stepping up in the second half.
"The defense ran hard and tackled well," Coach Petrino said. "The made it hard to make big plays. We weren’t able to have individuals make guys miss."
Razorback defender Elton Ford led the scrimmage with 12 total tackles, making four solo stops. Ford also broke up a pass and blocked a field goal. UA defensive end Jake Bequette notched five tackles with two going for a loss (11 yards total). Bequette filled the stat columns by recording a sack, breaking up a pass and forcing and recovering a fumble.
Overall, Coach Petrino was pleased with the effort given and his staff will take time in looking over the scrimmage’s video.
"We got a lot of things accomplished," Coach Petrino said. "We got all three groups a bunch of reps. It made for a lot of great video that we can evaluate. There were a lot of good things on both sides."
Arkansas continues August drills Monday with a two-a-day set of workouts beginning at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Razorback fans are invited to attend practices through August 21 (excluding August 19). For more information regarding UA football, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.