Razorbacks Look for Toughness During Friday Scrimmage

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas football completed its second scrimmage of the spring Friday inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. As promised by head coach Bobby Petrino after Thursday’s practice, the Razorbacks’ second scrimmage was longer in length than the first and featured more than 150 plays.

“We were planning on going about 180 (plays), so it was a long one,” offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said. “That’s the only way you get tougher. You keeping hitting and getting more reps and that’s how you can improve.”

The long workout gave the Razorbacks a chance to run a variety of plays and formations. Petrino said he and the rest of the coaches won’t know exactly how well Arkansas executed until they were able to sit down and grade the film, but he was pleased with some of his initial observations.

“I do think there were things that we actually got better at as the practice went on,” Petrino said of his offense. “D.J. (Williams) had some great plays, (Carlton) Salters had some good plays and I think Casey (Dick), with more and more reps, got better.”

Dick totaled 304 passing yards on 24 completions during Friday’s scrimmage to lead Razorback quarterbacks. On the ground, Arkansas racked up seven team touchdowns, including three by Brandon Barnett who rushed for a team-high 71 yards.

As a coordinator, Petrino said he is looking for the first snap to be as sharp as the final play and that regardless of the length of the scrimmage, he never want to see turnovers. Petrino also said he wants to see better decision making from the team around the goal line that would result in touchdowns rather than field goals.

Defensive coordinator Willy Robinson said it was beneficial for the Razorbacks to run through so many plays. Both coordinators talked about improving the toughness of their players, mentally and physically.

“It’s great for us as a young football team,” Robinson said. “The more reps we get, the more we have to bear down when we get tired.”

The Razorback defense caused turnovers—two interceptions and six fumble recoveries—but Robinson said too many big plays were given up, including a 45-yard touchdown reception by Rod Coleman and a catch-and-run by Andrew Davie that went for 63 yards. Robinson is looking for more consistency from his defense.

When pressure was applied, the Razorbacks were able to create a rush and get into the backfield to disrupt the quarterback, enough to total nine sacks during Friday’s scrimmage.

Arkansas will return to practice Tuesday after three days off. The workouts are open to the public when they are held outdoors. In the case of inclement weather, however, the practice will be moved indoors and closed to the public. Log on to www.hogwired.com for an updated spring practice schedule and more news about Razorback football.