It’s called the Red-White game, but next Saturday’s Razorback football scrimmage might as well be called The Ones Against the World.
That’s what Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema said Saturday when talking about next week’s 1 p.m. event at Razorback Stadium that will be televised by the SEC Network.
“It's going to be the ones against the world,” Bielema said. “We’ll have all of our ones in red, and we'll have our game jerseys. It's going to be on the SEC Network, so we'll be looking our best. We'll have our game jerseys on.
“Because I've got so many new coaches, we're going to try to handle the first half especially, just as we would in our opener, as far as coaches on the sidelines and communications and calls.
“And then in the first half we'll run a 12-minute quarter. We'll stop the clock and the referees will be out there. SEC officials. It will be officiated just like it would any other game."
The scoring will be a little unconventional per Bielema.
“The scoring will be a little bit different,” Bielema. “If the Red team (the ones) scores, it's normal traditional American football. If the White team scores, it's worth double points. So a touchdowns are worth 12. PATs are worth 2. Field goals are worth 6 and so on and so forth.
“The second half, because we're under a time constraint by the SEC Network, we'll kind of have to adjust that as needed.
“For the fans, it's going to be a great time. I've designed a little special play … Obviously last year we had Caanan Sandy that came in. They'll be something that I think will draw the attention of not only everybody in the stands, but it probably will draw national interest that should be very fun and a great part of our program.”
Bielema noted that new Arkansas offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dan Enos will be on the field instead of in the press box as former offensive coordinator Jim Chaney had been the past two seasons.
“He is going to go from the sidelines,” Bielema said. “ I have never had a coordinator from the sidelines. I let Robb Smith do it a year ago and I am glad I did. I always called my plays when I was defensive coordinator from the sidelines. My last offensive coordinator wanted to do it but it just wasn't the right chemistry down there.
“Dan has unbelievable street credit with our kids. He has got an unbelievable demeanor and rapport. He can jump them and they are going to respond I think in the right way. He really has had a tremendous effect on B.A. (starting quarterback Brandon Allen). I think B.A. feels very confident about him being down there as well so we are going to make a go of it.”
What’s better about being on the sidelines?
“ Well, I just think when you are on the sidelines as a coordinator you can really get a feel for what your kids are feeling and if they are confident and if they are not confident in the ability of what is being called,” Bielema said. “ You can kind of tell by their body language a lot better right in front of them whether they are going to go out there and play the way that you want them to or if you have to build some calls for them.
“I think the information is immediate and gives great feedback. One of the parts I love as a head coach is being able to look in the eyes of a player that had the greatest play of his career or the worst play of his career and be able to have an effect. I think in particular our coordinators have that ability.”
Arkansas tight ends coach Barry Lunney, Jr., will remain in the press box, but offensive line Coach Sam Pittman, running backs coach Jamel Singleton and wide receivers coach Michael Smith will be on the field.
“Sam will always be down there,” Bielema said. “Jemal will be down there right now. That's a guy we can talk about. Michael has been down on the field as well in the past. So I don't really think we would go one for one but maybe a G.A. (graduate assistant) or a student-assistant would be up there.”
• • •
Pittman has missed practice this week due to the death of his brother-in-law.
“Jamey, his wife, lost her brother up in Pittsburg Kan., to a long battle with cancer,” Bielema said. “Sam missed - I guess it was Tuesdays practice - and my wife and I went up to the visitation last night and the funeral was today so he wasn't able to make it. Thoughts and prayers go with him and his family.”
• • •
Bielema was asked a question about the protection has has given highly-touted players heading into their senior season.
“If a young man has the projection of No. 1 on his back, to be a first-round draft pick, I've got no problems,” Bielema said. “I’ll pack his bags and help him get ready. But a 2nd (round guy) I think you've got to make a wise decision and 3rd round you've got a chance to move up.
“The way the NFL structure is now with money, you can literally gain anywhere from $4 to $12 million by staying in school for a year if you just have a normal progression. It just makes too much sense.
“But obviously some guys, Darius (Philon) had an intent to go out and we're wishing him the best of luck with where it is. But with our program, especially if you've never redshirted, I see a fourth-year player that has never… redshirted, I see an opportunity to grow there.
“ But it's really a plan I've used all along. I used it for going back for 6, 7 years ago with a tailback. When we recruit the way that we do and play the way we do, I would hope my most experienced tailback has the opportunity to go pro after his every junior year as long as I'm the head coach.”
Red-White Game Will Be Ones Against the World
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