Hog wild

Long plays, Allen light up scrim­mage.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - TOM MUR­PHY

FAYET­TEVILLE — Austin Allen passed for 305 yards, and La’Michael Pettway and Chase Hay­den com­bined for three plays of 65 or more yards to high­light the Arkansas Ra­zor­backs’ 140-play scrim­mage Sat­ur­day at Reynolds Ra­zor­back Sta­dium.

Allen com­pleted 19 of 23 passes, in­clud­ing a 65-yard hookup with Pettway on which the sopho­more re­ceiver was dragged down at the 1 by fresh­man cor­ner­back Kam­ren Curl.

Allen called it a good first scrim­mage.

“I liked how the of­fense clicked and how hard we

played,” he said. “I re­ally loved the third-down se­quence where we hit, I think, 10 of 12 third downs. We played re­ally well. Played clean. Didn’t turn the ball over.”

Pettway also caught a 67yard touch­down pass from Allen af­ter get­ting past Curl over the mid­dle and draw­ing a penalty in the process. Pettway, who had two touch­down catches Thurs­day dur­ing red­zone work, fin­ished with five re­cep­tions for a team-high 165 yards.

“Me and Austin had that con­nec­tion to­day, and the O-line gave him just the right amount of time,” Pettway said. “He put it up, 50-50 balls, and even go­ing across the mid­dle I made some con­tested catches, so over­all a pretty good day.”

Coach Bret Bielema said Pettway must keep show­ing con­sis­tency.

“He made a cou­ple of ridicu­lous catches,” Bielema said.

“The ar­row’s up. I’d buy a lot of stock. We just have to fin­ish it off.”

The play of the day be­longed to fresh­man Koilan Jack­son, who brought in a one-handed deep ball from Car­son Proc­tor for a 45-yard touch­down while run­ning against start­ing cor­ner­back Ryan Pul­ley down the right side­line.

The first-team de­fense, run­ning mostly from its base 3-4 scheme, did a solid job hold­ing down the re­serves on of­fense with a few ex­cep­tions.

The fresh­man tail­back Hay­den broke loose on a run up the mid­dle and broke down the left side­line for a 65-yard gain be­fore Henre To­liver nudged him to the boundary at the 9. While an of­fi­cial ruled Hay­den out of bounds, the tail­back was ap­par­ently awarded a touch­down on the play. Con­nor Lim­pert added the ex­tra point.

“When you give up big plays, you put your­self at risk of los­ing foot­ball games,” de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Paul Rhoads said. “That was a

strange play, that big run, be­cause we had it de­fended very well, but he made a great play.”

Hay­den wound up with 16 car­ries for 112 yards.

“Re­ally, the O-line did a great job to­day,” Hay­den said. “They’re the two deep, so that just shows the depth we have. They were open­ing up a lot of holes for me.”

Run­ning with the first of­fense, Devwah Wha­ley rushed for 72 yards on 19 car­ries. David Wil­liams added 58 yards on 12 at­tempts.

Allen com­pleted his first five passes be­fore tight end Jack Kraus had a pass over the mid­dle go right through his hands.

Allen com­pleted nine con­sec­u­tive passes for 150 yards shortly there­after.

Of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Dan Enos talked up the sharp­ness of his start­ing quar­ter­back.

“I love the way Austin played,” Enos said. “I loved his poise and his pocket pos­ture and de­meanor. I like the way he was get­ting off his first and get­ting to his sec­ond and third guys. He was very quick and de­ci­sive.”

The of­fen­sive coaches said the first unit needed to be more pro­duc­tive in the run­ning game.

“I thought the first of­fen­sive line pass pro­tected very well,” Enos said. “We ran the ball good, not great. We need to get bet­ter in that area. We dropped too many balls. So we have to be more con­sis­tent there.”

Rhoads’ first im­pres­sion was on the most fun­da­men­tal as­pect of de­fense.

“We tack­led well,” he said. “For the first time tack­ling since April, that’s pleas­ing. We don’t go to the ground much. Mat­ter of fact, we’ll prob­a­bly only go to the ground two more days be­fore the opener.

“To press upon them the im­por­tance of what they’re do­ing in tack­ling drills and in non­live prac­tice sit­u­a­tions, and then to go out there and ex­e­cute it was very pleas­ing to us.”

The start­ing de­fense posted five sacks, two from Randy Ram­sey, who had a strip-sack by swat­ting the ball free from backup quar­ter­back Cole Kel­ley. But the starters also missed a cou­ple of shots at in­ter­cep­tions on tipped passes.

“For the first scrim­mage, I be­lieve it’s a good start,” safety San­tos Ramirez said. “We stopped the run pretty well be­sides the one big run by Chase.”

Said To­liver: “We did good to­day as a de­fense. We did what the coaches asked of us, we made plays. I think it was a win to­day for the de­fense.”

NW Demo­crat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE

Arkansas se­nior quar­ter­back Austin Allen passed for 305 yards, com­plet­ing 19 of 23 passes, dur­ing the Ra­zor­backs’ 140-play scrim­mage Sat­ur­day in Fayet­teville.

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