Hogs Enjoy Impromptu Scrimmage

UA head coach Houston Nutt puts the ball down and tells his troops to get with it during the second of two practices on Wednesday.

When it comes down to it, you just got to get with it sometimes according to University of Arkansas head football coach Houston Nutt.

That's just what happened with an impromptu scrimmage in Wednesday afternoon's Razorback workout, the second of two on the day and one in which senior quarterback Matt Jones shined.

"Sometimes with a younger group you just have to put the ball down and play," Nutt said. "There are only so many times you can go fundamentals, fundamentals and they get bored with that. They hadn't played enough snaps so we just put the ball down after a few individuals and punting."

The scrimmage popped up after the first workout of the day was a bit sluggish according to Nutt.

"We thought this would be a good little surprise," Nutt said. "They thought there were going through a regular boring practice again. They enjoy playing and that's what you love and hopefully you see improvement along the way."

Nutt, who mentioned that he couldn't wait to watch the scrimmage on tape and see what all transpired that he couldn't see, did notice plenty first-hand from his linebackers.

"I know Clarke Moore, I know Darren Rogers, Pierre Brown and Sam Olajubutu all had good days - I saw that first hand," Nutt said. "I could see how the secondary was improving."

But on offense anybody could see starting quarterback Jones had a field day.

Jones completed 9 of 10 passing for 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns and also took a 35-yard run to the house.

He got started early with a 75-yard scoring pass to senior wideout Steven Harris on the scrimmage's very first play and then hooked up with Marcus Monk on a 52-yard touchdown pass soon afterwards.

"He's just getting it done," Nutt said.

Monk, the 6-6, 227-pound freshman, has sparkled in preseason workouts.

"His work ethic is just outstanding," Nutt said. "Very rarely have we had a freshman that I haven't seen drop a pass or bust an assignment. There is very, very rare for a true freshman to come out and pick up things the way he has picked things up. He's a good target."

There was a lot of contact in Wednesday's two workouts.

"This was probably the most - if you talk about spring and going into two-a-days - that we have hit in a long time," Nutt said. "You hold your breath and you look up - Decori (Birmingham) goes down, Cedric Logan goes down, Cedric Washington went down - that's what you worry about but you have got to play the game and get more experience."

Tailback Birmingham (bell rung), wideout Logan (bruised knee) and wideout Washington (bruised shoulder should all be fine, but did miss the rest of the scrimmage along with tight end Jared Hicks, who was experiencing stomach trouble.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Landon Leach returned to the practice field on Wednesday afternoon after missing part of Tuesday's and all of Wednesday morning's practice.

"It was good to see him back out on the field," Nutt said. "He had a good series today, moved the team down the field without a turnover and moved the team real well."

Junior college transfer Randy Kelly suited up for the first time, but did more watching than practicing on Wednesday afternoon.

The injuries do not scare Nutt away from having more contact in Saturday's 6 p.m. Fan Day Scrimmage.

"We'll do about the same thing," Nutt said.


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