An announced crowd of 51,088 turned out for the event and the Red – which consisted of the offense – took down the White 34-27 in a game where nine field goals counted for the defensive points.
"I think we are in a great position where a lot of people in college football, maybe the outside world, don't think a lot about Arkansas right now, but I guarantee you they will in short fashion," Bielema said. "I really like the progress we made."
"I think it makes a great statement and with all due respect, it doesn't surprise me," Bielema said. "What these people are in the state – and I know people traveled from out of state as well – and the passion and statement they wanted to make in the world of college football and specifically to our players.
"I said to our players after the game – 'look at what these people want to do for you. They want to come out and support you and show you what they are all about' and that was very, very evident."
The scrimmage was set up so that the first-team offense would go against the first-team defense and the second team offense against the second-team defense in the first half. The rest of the team got on the field in the second half.
"We went ones against ones," Bielema said. "I thought it was a great way to tell our kids that today was all about business and they responded very positive."
While he didn't come right out and name redshirt sophomore-to-be Brandon Allen his starting quarterback over senior-to-be Brandon Mitchell, he made it clear that Allen was the guy right now.
Allen was 11-of-16 for 158 yards passing with one touchdown and did not have a turnover while playing just the first half. Mitchell was 12-of-17 with a touchdown pass and one interception at the goal line.
"I thought Brandon Allen just continued to move forward," Bielema said. "Brandon Mitchell does a lot of really good things and does some things that will set you back at times. I thought Brandon Allen played his best football the last two weeks and played really well with a group around him. We have three seniors receivers, (tailback) Jonathan Williams and (fullback) Keiro Small.
Asked if he was hesitant to name a starter Bielema responded that he had not done that at any position yet.
"Obviously you guys have been out there and Brandon Allen has not taken every snap, but the majority of the snaps with the ones and he continues to impress, continues to do some things very, very positive...He's got athleticism, he's got ability. Now he has just to learn that he doesn't have to stay alive to make a great play. Get the ball out of bounds and play the next play.
"He is a film junkie obviously growing up with Bobby in that home and all the emphasis on athletics and academics and I think he has continued to grow and I think we will be very surprised," Bielema added.
Bielema said he plans to have a conversation with Mitchell, who played wide receiver last season and has said he does not want to do that this season.
"I have got to have a conversation with Brandon (Mitchell) that as a senior I want him to know that he is a contributor and if it is not at quarterback what we can do," Bielema said. "He is a tremendous competitor and a kid that we are very excited about. I love his leadership skills and what he can bring."
Mitchell led the second-team offense to a 48-yard field goal on his first possession of the game and then Allen came back and hit Demetrius Wilson on a 26-yard pass in the back of the end zone for a score that coupled with Zach Hocker's PAT to make it 10-0.
The field goal kickers then got their chance – between the end of the first quarter and start of the second - with Hocker drilling kicks of 27, 37 and 52 and John Henson one of 22 to hand the White a 12-10 advantage.
Mitchell, who was picked at the goal line by Tiquention Coleman early in the second quarter, rebounded and connected with Jeremy Sprinkle on a 26-yard touchdown pass with 1:13 remaining before halftime.
Allen directed a hurry-up offense and hooked up with Javonte Herndon for 32 yards and Wilson for 12 to get his team in position for Hocker's 37-yard field goal that made it 20-10 as time ran out.
"I like the way things panned out in the first quarter where there was success on both sides of the football," Bielema said. "I thought our number one offense got clicking at times with all the key personnel and obviously converted a touchdown. We had some significant drives, but the best one was the one at the end of the half to walk out of there with points on the board with the field.
"Obviously it gave us a chance to work on some things – we had not worked mayday field goal and some other things that we could explore at the end," Bielema said. "Some really positive things offensively and defensively and just to get through the whole game injury free was a positive thing. I think it was because kids were playing extremely hard and are engaged and were playing very, very smart."
Nate Holmes had an 18-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to make it 27-10, but Bielema then brought the field goal kickers back on and gave them a chance to give the defense a lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Hocker hit from 27, 37 and 49 and Henson 22 and 32, but Hocker's 60-yard try came up just short and left it 27-27 heading into the final stanza.
Third-string quarterback A.J. Derby hit D'Arthur Cowan on a 35-yard pass 10 seconds into the fourth quarter with Hocker's PAT tacking on the final point.
Bielema was very pleased that there were just two penalties in the contest on his offense and one on his defense.
"We played very, very smart and had just a few penalties," Bielema said. "There was one where the lineman was down the field and one where we got called for holding. But the decrease in the number of penalties – I think that is championship level football from the get-go.
"It's one thing to be able to play a certain way and be able to execute, but if you are beating yourself before the snap, you don't have a chance and we were very, very clean in that regard,"
Walk on Patrick Arinze led the rushing with nine carries for 66 yards while Kody Walker added seven carries for 40 yards, Holmes nine for 39 yards and Williams nine carries for 29 yards.
"Patrick has been a nice surprise," Bielema said. "I think (former Arkansas assistant) Bobby Allen kind of recruited him and got him here and did a nice job of bringing him in. He is very powerful and you can see he has the ability to run the football. He is pretty solid as a blocker as well. He is like a little Tonka Truck, just really built strong and tough and physical and kept those big old legs churning.
"I think there is a nice combination (at fullback) with him and Keiro (Small) and also the two of them in the backfield at the same time," Bielema added.
Herndon topped the pass catchers with six receptions for 85 yards while Keon Hatcher added five catches for 60 yards, Wilson four catches for 70 yards and Cowan a couple of catches for 43 yards.
Freshman cornerback Ray Buchanan led the tackle chart with and junior college transfer safety Coleman led the tackle charts with nine stops each while linebackers Jarrett Lake and Daunte Carr added seven, cornerback Carroll Washington six.
Freshman defensive end Taiwan Johnson had two sacks while Trey Flowers, Deatrich Wise and Brandon Lewis had one each.
"(Starting senior defensive end) Chris Smith only played the first quarter," Bielema said. "I actually told him that he didn't have to play if he didn't want to because we have had a run of some guys with a viral infection and flu last two weeks. Chris has been really sick and hadn't practiced, but he wanted to go today and play with his number one unit. It was good to see him out there, but we backed him out after the first quarter.
"I think him and Trey Flowers can be a very formidable duo at the defensive end," Bielema added.
"I really liked the group of defensive tackles led by our two seniors and see where they continue to grow," Bielema said. "I think our linebackers got better all spring and I am really excited to see where (Jarrett) Lake and Braylon Mitchell and a guy who really emerged at the end in Austin Jones, who did some nice things and was a playmaker.
"In the back end with Gaines and Bennett, I think those are two safeties that can play really, really good football," Bielema added.
Tevin Mitchell was hurt on the first play of the day – a deep incomplete pass.
"I was disappointed to see him (get hurt), but I don't think it is anything too serious," Bielema said. "He was bothered by his hammy at the first of the string, had a really, really nice last two weeks, but unfortunately tweaked it on the first play and didn't get him back in there, but we got a lot of reps for those other guys."
Will Hines had one of two interceptions for the defense.
There was a big crowd and plenty to cheer Saturday.
Brandon Allen gets a pass off with Austin Jones in pursuit.
Alex Voelzke rolls after a catch.
Braylon Mitchell makes a tackle.
Keon Hatcher powers for yards after the catch.
Jarrett Lake (39) tries to get a handle on running back Jonathan Williams (32).
Jonathan Williams fends off a defender.
Patrick Arinze fights for extra yards.
Tiquention Coleman returned an interception to midfield early in the game.