Hogs get 3-4 install quickly
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas Razorbacks defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads put the installation of the team’s new 3-4 schemes on fast forward the first week of training camp.
Now there’s some fine-tuning and blitz packages being added after Saturday’s first scrimmage.
“Like coach Rhoads said, we had seven straight days of install and he’s never been able to do that before,” junior safety Santos Ramirez said Saturday. “That’s a credit to the defense because we were able to pick it up, from the spring and learning it to now we’re able to apply it.”
Defensive end McTelvin Agim said the only addition in Monday’s work was a check against an empty backfield.
“We’ve already made all our install for the season, I believe,” Agim said. “We might throw some more things in there, more kinks, more pressures off of certain calls, but we put all our install in nonstop.”
The Razorbacks ran a base four-man front last season and the switch has moved some players around, but the progress has been significant said “Hog” linebacker Karl Roesler, who played end and linebacker the past couple of years.
“We haven’t installed anything the past couple of days,” Roesler said. “We just had a little check for empty because the offense put in their empty set.
“But yeah, coach Rhoads was ecstatic. He said he’d never gone seven days of straight install. His other teams couldn’t handle it, but we were able to do it and he was very proud of us.”
Senior safety De’Andre
Coley identified himself as the player who got out of position and missed a tackle on freshman Chase Hayden’s 65-yard run against the first unit.
“I missed that tackle, so I’ve gotta make that,” Coley said.
Coley was impressed by Hayden, a 5-10, 191-pounder and the team’s fastest running back who seems targeted for playing time behind Devwah Whaley and David Williams.
“I see him playing right away,” Coley said. “He’s a good player.”
Quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Dan Enos called the competition for backup quarterback between Ty Storey and Cole Kelley very close.
“Both of them have been very good,” Enos said. “I don’t have a lot of complaints about how they’ve played. It’s not like we’re sitting there going, ‘Oh my gosh, neither guy can do it.’ Right now we’re saying they’re both pretty good.
“They both need to continue to get better in some areas that will come with reps and everything. But they’re close, and this week is going to be a big week for both of them.”
Storey, a redshirt sophomore who played sparingly in three games last year, completed 8 of 14 passes for 42 yards in Saturday’s scrimmage. Kelley redshirted last season and completed 9 of 14 passes for 65 yards Saturday.
Junior cornerback Ryan Pulley was practically glued to receiver Koilan Jackson on the freshman’s 45-yard touchdown pass from Carson Proctor in Saturday’s scrimmage.
“I was in a great position,” Pulley said. “I was in so good of a position that I looked the wrong way and the ball just dropped right on my head. I should have looked over my left shoulder. But he made a good play. Shout out to Koilan.”
Defensive captain Kevin Richardson said Pulley knew immediately what had happened.
“He said, ‘You know it’s not going to happen again,’ and we all know it’s not going to happen again,” Richardson said. “He holds himself to a higher standard.”
Said Pulley, “I just told my teammates that the next one was going to be picked. That’s all I told them. That was a good throw by the quarterback and a great catch by Koilan.”
Offensive coordinator Dan Enos liked what he saw out of quarterback Austin Allen, who completed 19 of 23 passes for 304 yards and a touchdown against the second-team defense during Saturday’s scrimmage.
“I love the way Austin played,” Enos said. “I loved his poise, and I loved his pocket posture and demeanor. I loved the way he was getting off his first and getting to his second and third guys. He was very quick and decisive.”
Walk-on Grant Morgan has taken substantial firstteam reps in camp at weakside linebacker with Dre Greenlaw taking it easy in his recovery from foot surgery. Morgan would like to make an ascent comparable to defensive captain Kevin Richardson, also a former walk-on.
“That makes a big thing in my heart to know that I can look up to somebody like that,” said Morgan, a redshirt freshman and brother of former Razorback receiver Drew Morgan. “Because I look at Drew and think, yeah, he also was underrated. But then when I look at Kevin Richardson, he was very underrated. He came as a walk-on, and now he’s at the top of the top because of his mindset.”
Did he score?
Scrimmages sometimes make for tough decisions for the pure statistician. One example is La’Michael Pettway’s catch on the 18th snap for the firstteam offense in Saturday’s scrimmage.
Pettway got deep past freshman cornerback Kamren Curl and was fighting for the end zone after Curl caught up to him inside the 5. The officials ruled Pettway down at the 1, though some in the stadium were inclined to rule the play a touchdown.
“I felt like I got in,” Pettway said. “We’ve got this big thing about putting the ball over the goal line, so I didn’t want to do that because the coaches were harping on that pretty hard. But I really felt like I got in.”
Did he score 2?
Four snaps after La’Michael Pettway’s 65yard catch, tailback Chase Hayden turned a plugged hole into a long gainer against the first unit on defense. The swift freshman took the handoff on an inside zone play, juked a defender, bounced around left end and got to the sideline with corners Henre Toliver and Ryan Pulley in hot pursuit.
The officiating crew ruled Toliver pushed Hayden out of bounds at the 9 after a 65-yard gain. Hayden, who tight-roped the sideline, went into the end zone, and the coaching staff called it a touchdown.
“Well, I thought they called me out of bounds, but everybody else said at the end they raised their hands, so it’s a touchdown,” Hayden said. “I thought they called me out of bounds at first, too.”