Here’s a few RBN observations from Saturday’s 107-play scrimmage.
- Brandon Allen had a nice day throwing the football Saturday, going 16-17 for 204 PaYds and a TD. Allen was efficient throwing mainly short and intermediate routes with the one exception being a 47-yard TD to Javontee Herndon.
- Herndon, Julian Horton and D’Arthur Cowan all had good days, each making some spectacular grabs. Horton had the lone drop of an Allen pass, but tallied 6 catches for 63 yards including several across the middle of the field.
- One of the things noticeable from the start were the number of Freshmen who littered the two-deep. Bielema noted that as many as 10 were likely to play. Offensive linemen Reeve Koehler, Denver Kirkland, Dan Skipper, running back Alex Collins, tight end Hunter Henry, wide receiver Drew Morgan, linebacker Brooks Ellis, quarterbacks Austin Allen and Damon Mitchell, and cornerback D.J. Dean were all mentioned by Bielema as candidates to play immediately.
- Collins and Henry both got plenty of first team reps, each showing why they were top recruits at their positions. Collins was especially effective running off tackle, showing great patience on several runs. He is elusive in space. Henry has great hands, body control and was crisp in his routes. Both are impact players.
- C Travis Swanson (groin), RB Kiero Small (foot), WR Keon Hatcher, DT Byran Jones and S Rohan Gaines all sat out with minor injuries. None are expected to miss more than a few practices.
- Minus defensive end Chris Smith and safety Tiquention Coleman the defense still looks to be searching for playmakers. Smith was unblockable at times while Coleman continues his ‘big-hitting’ ways.
- On special teams, Zach Hocker was exceptional place kicking and punting Saturday. After booming several punts (one almost 80 yards) early in the practice, Zach nailed a 57-yard field goal to end one of the scoring drives. Juco transfer punter Sam Irwin-Hill had two punts of around 45 yards, but was inconsistent in his first public debut.
- Braylon Mitchell, Jarrett Lake and Austin Jones started at linebacker. Daunte Carr, Robert Atiga, Otha Peters, A.J. Turner, Brooks Ellis, Myke Tavarres, and Martrell Spaight split the second/third team reps. None stood out except for the juco transfer Spaight, who showed some flashes running to the football.