November 23, 2014

Grinding On Display

Jonathan_WilliamsAbout 400 fans got a chance to see Bret Bielema’s Razorbacks toil on Saturday as the coach opened practice for the first time this spring.

My, oh my how things have changed.  Can you imagine the ire that would have been felt from the previous regime had the offense not scored a touchdown in a 101-play scrimmage?

Granted the Hogs offense scored five out of six tries from the four yard-line in some goal-line work.  Even still, it was apparent that the defense, especially the defensive line, was in control of the proceedings for the most part.

Saturday though wasn’t at all about scoring points or racking up gaudy stats.  What we saw was a lot more situational scrimmaging.  Grinding isn’t all that pretty, as the coaches try to learn what this group can execute on third and short, second and long, etc.

Jonathan Williams (16 for 87 RuYds, TD) was the offensive star showing that same elusive style that made him a weapon last year.  Teaming him with 5-star incomming freshman Alex Collins (5-11, 207) in the fall will be worth the price of admission.

Brandon Allen (9-13, 97 PaYds, TD, Int) clearly appears to have emerged as the #1 quarterback at this point.  Even Bielema acknowledged as much in his comments after the scrimmage.

Installing new schemes takes time, and the defense showed Saturday they are ahead and playing fast so far.  Seven sacks, three interceptions, and 18 tackles for loss led to a lot of long down and distance chances for the offense.

Juco transfer safety Tiquintion (TQ) Coleman is as advertised – a big hitter.  His 15-yard penalty for hitting receiver Keon Hatcher after an overthrow was proof enough for us.  He and hard-hitting sophomore safety Rohan Gaines will give the Hogs a big 1-2 punch come fall.

Last year’s young linebacker corps featuring Otha Peters (6-2, 232) and Braylon Mitchell (6-3, 229) look improved.  Both drew praise from Bielema after the workout.

“Braylon…the last two weeks he’s been a guy that’s been on a steady climb every day,” Bielema said.  “He really just does a lot of nice things to be in the right spots.”

All in all, a great workout on a sun-splashed day in Fayetteville.  Six more to go.  Practice continues this week with workouts set for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with the Red-White Spring Game, slated for April 20 at 2 p.m.

  • Allen_Tx_Hog

    (Clean) Naughty Defense = a better offense (during spring/summer practice and finally September)!!!

  • Allen_Tx_Hog

    Defense, I am asking for you to make the offense better! Respect and play um tough! Then in the regular season lay the hammer to the SEC West or East opponent (your Choice or Both) !!!!!!!! Shutouts are possible when the body and mind work together.