A few notes after watching Saturday’s 107-play scrimmage in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The running backs are game-ready to go. Alex Collins (63 rushing yards) was running hard, fighting and spinning for extra yards. Korliss Marshall exploded for 102 rushing yards on 8 carries and 3 TDs, including a big 57-yard TD run to finish the scrimmage. And while Jonathan Williams (hamstring) did not scrimmage, Bret Bielema said afterwards that he is close to returning to practice.
True freshman offensive linemen Frank Ragnow and Brian Wallace are going to be stars. Ragnow got some first team reps at center Saturday and held his own for the most part. Wallace is very skilled and really moves well. The future is bright for those two.
Every attempt was made to have the scrimmage be a true dress rehearsal. In addition to the usual referees on the field and full tackling (except for QBs), the coaches communicated via headsets and music and crowd noise were piped in over the stadium sound system.
The Hogs are still searching at fullback. Jeremy Sprinkle looked pretty comfortable there coming out of the backfield as a receiver, but they are missing the Kiero Small-type blocker/masher between the tackles.
Our cupboard is stocked full of possession receivers. While we think eventually Jared Cornelius, Kendrick Edwards and JoJo Robinson could be downfield threats, no vertical receivers that can get separation and stretch the field appear to have emerged. It will still be easy for defenses to crowd the line of scrimmage unless that changes.
As much as the statewide talk shows would tell you different, Brandon Allen is still Brandon Allen. His numbers were decent Saturday (19-28, 218, 3 TDs) and he shows flashes of improvement. But Allen continues to be late and inaccurate delivering the ball at times. While his arm strength has obviously increased since last season’s injury, he is still struggling to pick out the right receiver. All that with a green jersey on. Still a long way to go.
TipsterHog also contributed to this post.