Monday Grid Update, 10/14

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema noted Monday that he switched up the normal Sunday schedule by scrimmaging his younger players and remains positive about the future.

After four straight losses, Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema decided to change things up on Sunday.

He and his staff took the younger Razorbacks out and put them through a scrimmage.

"Obviously the film on Sunday was a hard one to get through," Bielema said. "We knew it was after the results on Saturday but we kind of used the same format, one changeup we did do was we went out on the field and scrimmaged our young guys. We took our developmental guys out there.

"We haven't been able to do that in the last couple of weeks because of health reasons that we weren't going to be able to have enough live bodies," Bielema added. "But I think that did a good job in not only bringing our players back but bringing our coaches back with a chance to go out and work some fundamentals with the younger players. We had a lot of good work there."

If you did not play or played 30 plays or less on Saturday, you scrimmaged on Sunday according to Bielema.

"Even a guy like (redshirt freshman defensive end) Deatrich Wise and some of the other guys that played maybe 15-20 snaps, we still took them out and they did individual," Bielema said. "…So when we went to the move the ball part it was truly just guys that hadn't played."

One players that Arkansas got a good chance to look at was redshirting freshman offensive lineman Reeve Koehler, who was pushing for the time along with current starting guards Dan Skipper and Denver Kirkland in fall camp.

"His mom and dad were here from Hawaii for the first time and they were all smiles on Sunday because they feel he's adjusting so well and fitting in in a great environment," Bielema said. " And, you know, that's something we want to do is go back to Hawaii and get on some of their top recruits. But Reeve unfortunately got rolled up a little bit and didn't finish the scrimmage. Nothing serious, but he's got a slight MCL."

Bielema also praised true freshman tailback Korliss Marshall and redshirting true freshman safety De'Andre Coley.

"…Korliss Marshall, looked good at tailback, and we got him some reps where he's bumping and doing some good things," Bielema said. "I think on defense, Coley has put on 15-20 pounds and looks like an SEC safety. Really excited with his progress."

With current Arkansas redshirt sophomore quarterback Brandon Allen struggling, the scrimmage was a good time to look at true freshmen signal callers Austin Allen and Damon Mitchell.

"Duwop (Mitchell) had a couple nice series," Bielema said. "Austin had one nice series. Both of them have shown that they've grown quite a bit since fall camp. But you know, just the details of lining up and executing an offense the way we need to on Saturday, they're just not quite there yet."

He made it clear that neither one is prepared to step in for the older Allen.

"Let's be honest," Bielema said. You have got to deal with reality there. If there was a guy I thought would give us a better chance we would play him. I told the crew back in the fall when we reported that I am going to play every freshman I think gives us a chance to win one rep. I don't care what the philosophy is. I want to win now. I want to win as soon as possibly. Obviously the last four weeks haven't been in the right column.

"But I think B.A., the growth he has shown me during the spring to the summer to the fall to the A&M game was a very intriguing part," Bielema added. "Obviously Florida's and South Carolina's defenses made him look a certain way and we just have got to get up to the level."

Bielema made it clear it's just not Allen who is struggling.

"It's not (just) him," Bielema said. "Our throwing game, one of our three offensive goals last week was to be better in our execution of the passing game - protections, reads, routes, delivery and catch. All those things factor into it."

Arkansas should get junior linebacker Martrell Spaight back for this game after he missed the South Carolina game due to injury.

"Obviously today is a day off and tomorrow we will jump into that and should be a little bit healthier other than Robert," Bielema said. "… Martrell Spaight should be at Tuesday's practice and that will help us out tremendously at linebacker. And a couple of other guys that maybe had limited practice last week like Travis Swanson, Byran Jones and some of those guys are full strength and should be locked in."


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