FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas practiced inside Razorback Stadium for the last time before next Saturday’s annual Red-White spring game. The Razorbacks have now completed three weeks and 11 practices of spring ball.
Saturday opened with eight periods of practice before the team broke into a scrimmage that featured first and second down work, third-and-short situations, red zone work and ended with moving the ball up the field. First team reps featured no live tackling while the second and third units tackled all the way to the ground.
Appointed the team’s starting quarterback on Thursday by head coach Bret Bielema, junior Austin Allen completed 10 of 14 passes for 112 yards during the scrimmage. Allen’s best throw of the day came in the portion of practice in which the offense could move the ball, as he delivered a 40-yard strike down the right sideline to senior wide receiver Dominique Reed just before the pocket collapsed. The drive ended with a 44-yard field goal by sophomore Cole Hedlund.
Allen accounted for 14 of the 20 pass attempts over the entire scrimmage, putting the focus on the run game while getting the offensive and defensive lines more reps. Early on, the defensive line was finding its way to the quarterback, registering four sacks, including two from senior Deatrich Wise Jr., who has had a standout spring.
The final drive of the practice featured 12-straight run plays with sophomore Juan Day carrying most of the load. During the 12-play drive that started on the 35 yard line, Day broke runs of 10 and 18 yards, respectively, to put the offense inside the red zone. Faced with a 4th and 2, the offense was stopped short on the final play of the day as sophomore linebacker Randy Ramsey shed a blocker to make the stop in the back field.
Day ran the ball 14 times, including seven times on the last drive, for 54 yards while junior Denzel Evans put together some tough runs for 32 yards on nine carries. Sophomore Rawleigh Williams took most of the first team reps at running back, showing good burst, but wasn’t tackled to the ground.
Other defensive highlights included sacks by senior Jeremiah Ledbetter and junior Karl Roesler. One of the players having a great spring, according to coach Bielema during his press conference last Saturday, junior defensive back De’Andre Coley came up with the day’s lone interception.
The Razorbacks will return to the practice field on Tuesday to start their final week of spring ball.
Arkansas will hold its annual Red-White Spring Game presented by Contour by Cox on Saturday, April 23. Kickoff is scheduled for noon inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The event is free and open to the public.