Scrimmage Take Aways

There were no major surprises in Saturday night's scrimmage -- other than 15,000 in the stands. Quarterbacks Tyler Wilson and Brandon Allen were superb. John L. Smith did have some good news on some injured defensive starters.

There was plenty to like about the final public Arkansas football scrimmage of the fall Saturday night. Tyler Wilson and Brandon Allen are superb at quarterback. Both did a nice job in the operation phases of the quarterback position and appeared competent in both checks, reads and protection thoughts.

The crowd was estimated at 15,000 and UA officials probably had a good feel since they scanned tickets of every person who came in Reynolds Razorback Stadium to test their new system.

But there were few real surprises overall on the night. This scrimmage, I think, was very similar to what we have seen in a very good fall camp. The good news came afterwards when John L. Smith addressed the three key starters held out for most of camp. He said Tenarius Wright, Eric Bennett and Alonzo Highsmith were all in good shape and would be available starting Monday. All three have missed almost all of fall camp with nagging injuries.

I thought Jonathan Williams had the kind of scrimmage that the coaches were hoping for -- because he'd looked very good in the last week or so.

I thought it was the best day for Demetrius Wilson. Perhaps it is all starting to fall in place for him. Cobi Hamilton looked like a bell cow, much better than last Saturday.

I thought the first offensive line had a good night, too. But they don't win every battle against this defensive front. With the twos, I thought Jason Peacock was very good. He's played both sides this fall. Perhaps that's more of an effort to get Chris Stringer ready on both sides, since I suspect that Peacock will miss the opener.

A. J. Turner continues to make plays. I love to watch him fly to the football. He closes ground and does it downhill.

One play I continue to like is the sweep out of The Pistol formation with two offensive linemen pulling. Saw it more with the twos because I think that's a great play with the vision of Jonathan Williams. I know Knile can run that very effectively, too. I'm sure they will run that with the ones with Knile out there.

The position that concerns me the most is probably safety. I know Rasner can play there and will if they don't see some step forward. So far, Rohan Gaines has been the biggest mover. He's clearly the top safety in the absence of Eric Bennett.

In watching Bennett closely in individual drills last week, he's moving pretty well. He'll be back this week for a try at complete practices. I suspect he and Gaines will allow Rasner to play more at Star linebacker. I believe if there were some doubts about that, Rasner would have played safety Saturday night. I think Gaines is going to be a good, productive SEC safety.

This offense tends to make safeties look badly. And that is what I thought happened Saturday night. We can go after about any weakness about the way Bolt runs the 100. The mismatch is found early.

Tevin Mitchel gave up some plays against Cobi Hamilton, but that's going to happen to most corners in the SEC. He did make some plays, too, and he competed to the end. I actually liked what I saw of Mitchel.

Morgan Linton continues to have a good camp. He's done well enough that Kiero Small has played more linebacker in the last week. I'm not saying he's better than Small, but he's good. Kody Walker also continues to get a lot of snaps at fullback. This position is solid.

The young defensive ends are as good as advertised. They are still learning, but it's amazing how much Steve Caldwell has already taught them. It looks like JaMichael Winston and Deitrech Wise are the two that are a little ahead but Brandon Lewis and Taiwan Johnson are progressing, too. Caldwell may have a tough choice on picking two to play (that's his plan) and two to redshirt.

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