Vis­it­ing Briella ‘all Hog’

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - COLLEGE FOOTBALL - By Tom Mur­phy and Bob Holt

FAYET­TEVILLE — Bret Bielema brought a sur­prise into his Wed­nes­day me­dia con­fer­ence.

Bielema en­tered the me­dia in­ter­view room at the Fred Smith Cen­ter with his daugh­ter Briella Bielema in his arms, fol­lowed by his wife Jen.

Bielema said he’d been get­ting a lot of ques­tions about the progress of Briella, who was born July 8.

“She does call the Hogs in her sleep,” Bielema said as Briella looked at the bright lights and cooed. “A lot of times her hands are above her head, so she’s all Hog.

“We can’t talk about her weight. Jen says we can’t talk about her weight.”

Bielema briefly held his daugh­ter in front of the cam­eras, then brought her to Jen, who cra­dled Briella and left the in­ter­view room.

In­jury up­date

Ju­nior line­backer Dre Green­law prac­ticed the past two days, Coach Bret Bielema said, high­light­ing the list of play­ers re­turn­ing from in­juries for the Uni­ver­sity of Arkansas, Fayet­teville. Green­law is pro­ceed­ing with cau­tion in his re­turn from foot surgery, and he’s also had a tight quad early in camp.

Bielema said line­backer Karl Roesler (ham­string), tight end Jeremy Pat­ton (hip), de­fen­sive end Ar­mon Watts (bruised el­bow), cor­ner­back Britto Tutt (knee), tight end Will Gragg (con­cus­sion), kicker Cole Hed­lund (groin) and nose guard Dy­lan Hays (an­kle) have all re­turned to prac­tice this week. All of those play­ers were either held out of Satur­day’s scrim­mage or dinged up dur­ing it.

Line­backer De’Jon Har­ris is not back to 100 per­cent af­ter suf­fer­ing a mild sprain of the me­dial col­lat­eral lig­a­ment in his knee, Bielema said, adding Har­ris re­ceived lim­ited work Tues­day.

Re­ceiver Bran­don Martin, who missed the scrim­mage with “soft tis­sue” is­sues in his back, has been given a med­i­cal treat­ment that re­quires he sit out a few days, Bielema said.

Hot Austin

Quar­ter­back Austin Allen has fol­lowed up his siz­zling scrim­mage per­for­mance with sev­eral good days of prac­tice, the Arkansas co­or­di­na­tors said Wed­nes­day.

Allen went 19 of 23 for 304 yards, in­clud­ing a 67-yard over-the-top touch­down pass to La’Michael Pettway, in Satur­day’s scrim­mage.

“We would have won a lot of foot­ball games with the way Austin Allen threw the foot­ball yes­ter­day,” de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Paul Rhoads said when asked about the ad­van­tage his de­fense had in fac­ing a vet­eran SEC quar­ter­back ev­ery day. “Man, he was on the money and threw a lot of balls that you couldn’t play as a de­fender. If he can pay like that all sea­son long, we’ll be in ev­ery ball­game be­cause of it.”

El­e­va­tor blues

Fresh­man quar­ter­back Daulton Hy­att was among 17 play­ers who got stuck on an el­e­va­tor in the Smith Cen­ter af­ter prac­tice Tues­day. The play­ers were in the el­e­va­tor for about an hour be­fore be­ing freed by main­te­nance work­ers and fire­fight­ers.

Hy­att looked like he had just fin­ished prac­tice when he was able to make it to the quar­ter­backs meet­ing with of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Dan Enos.

“He was full of sweat,” Enos said. “I said, ‘Man, why did you get on that el­e­va­tor?’ He goes, ‘I was one of the first ones on and then I couldn’t get off.’

“I don’t think I’ll be tak­ing the el­e­va­tor any time soon, es­pe­cially with 15 of those guys on there.”

There were some big bod­ies stuck on the el­e­va­tor, in­clud­ing Frank Rag­now, McTelvin Agim, Ar­mon Watts, Bris­ton Guidry and Deion Malone.

“We had to take three to five min­utes of our meet­ing just to kind of get [Hy­att] calmed back down,” Enos said. “Be­cause I think there was some tense mo­ments on the el­e­va­tor from what I hear.”

Bret Bielema said in the age of so­cial me­dia, he knew word of the el­e­va­tor sit­u­a­tion would spread quickly, but that in 12 sea­sons as a head coach it’s some­thing he’s had hap­pen to play­ers be­tween 20 and 30 times.

“It hap­pens quite a bit,” Bielema said. “More than you think. We tell them ob­vi­ously not to over­stuff, but ….”

Cor­ner­back Ryan Pul­ley started to get on the el­e­va­tor, Bielema said, but then thought bet­ter of it.

“Ryan was try­ing to hop on the el­e­va­tor as well, and he didn’t quite make it on,” Bielema said. “He said, ‘Y’all are go­ing to get stuck,’ and that’s what hap­pened.

“It can get into a scary sit­u­a­tion, but all of our guys han­dled it well last night. Some of them bet­ter than oth­ers. But we got them out, ev­ery­thing was fine, and ev­ery­thing’s good to­day.”

Re­mem­ber­ing Pat

Bret Bielema gave a well­re­ceived ad­dress Wed­nes­day at the memo­rial ser­vice for Pat Gaz­zola, the owner of the Cat­fish Hole restau­rant, which hosts re­cruits on their of­fi­cial vis­its and serves as host to Bielema’s weekly ra­dio show.

Gaz­zola, 68, died Satur­day.

Team cap­tains Austin Allen, Frank Rag­now, Kevin Richard­son and San­tos Ramirez, along with Jared Cor­nelius and re­ceivers coach Michael Smith, also at­tended the ser­vice.

Men’s basketball Coach Mike An­der­son and his wife Marchi­eta, for­mer coach Nolan Richard­son, for­mer cross coun­try and track and field Coach John McDon­nell, and many other ath­letic depart­ment and Ra­zor­back Foun­da­tion mem­bers were in at­ten­dance.

“Pat’s a guy I met when I first got here, and our re­la­tion­ship has grown over the last five years,” Bielema said. “He’s a guy that ob­vi­ously loved the Hogs and has done a lot for the pro­gram. We ad­justed our whole day of prac­tice, moved ev­ery­thing back an hour, so we could give our fi­nal re­spects to Pat. A re­ally, re­ally good man.”

Kicker bat­tle

Fresh­man Blake Mazza is putting some heat on ju­nior Cole Hed­lund in the com­pe­ti­tion to see who will be the team’s No. 1 place­kicker.

Mazza hit 5 of 5 field goal at­tempts, with a long of 36 yards, in Satur­day’s scrim­mage.

Hed­lund sat out the scrim­mage to rest a groin in­jury, but he re­turned to prac­tice this week.

“Blake Mazza has had a nice camp,” Bret Bielema said. “So I’d say him and Cole are bat­tling it out for the field goal job.”

Bielema said Mazza and sopho­more Con­nor Lim­pert are com­pet­ing for the kick­off job.

Patches

The Ra­zor­backs are push­ing patches this sea­son. Their grad­u­ates have an “SEC Grad­u­ate” patch sewn onto the up­per right of their jer­seys. Team cap­tains Austin Allen, Frank Rag­now, San­tos Ramirez and Kevin Richard­son have a cap­i­tal “C” patch on the up­per left.

“I love it,” Richard­son said. “I mean, it’s like you don’t see that any­where else but the NFL. I think Coach B is try­ing to make an em­pha­sis that these are our guys we can rely on to pro­vide lead­er­ship on and off the field.”

Allen was sport­ing both patches on his scrim­mage jersey Satur­day.

“The ‘C’ makes me feel like I’m wear­ing a hockey jersey,” Allen said. “This grad­u­ate patch, there was a lot of hard work to get this grad­u­ate patch, a lot of long hours.

“And it’s just an honor to be voted cap­tain of this team. Hav­ing that means the world to me.”

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