After another closed workout day of shoring up problems, the University of Arkansas football team will unveil its new look to the public on Saturday morning at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Arkansas will go through a 50 to 60 play scrimmage beginning at around 11 a.m. It is one that will get reviewed by the fans right then and dissected by the coaches over the weekend.
"It will be one of our major scrimmages," Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. "Anytime you spend that much time scrimmaging, you learn. We are going to be on different areas on the field - going in and coming out, red zone and just putting them in different places and seeing how they respond. This film will be watched very, very closely."
Nutt would like to scrimmage a little longer, but with several offensive lineman being sidelined he can't wear the others out.
"The problem is when you lose Jonathon Luigs and you have Cody Green on the sideline, Zac Tubbs on the sideline and Tony Ugoh in track - you basically have eight offensive lineman and that hurts. Hopefully we can get Jonathon back next week so we can at least have two groups. That makes it awfully tough to have long, long scrimmages."
Arkansas scrimmaged for 25 plays on Thursday and that film got reviewed and lessons taught during Friday's practice.
"We had a good long practice with a lot of corrections and a lot of film to catch up on," Nutt said. "There were some missed assignments that we wanted to get down. First of all, our pad level was too high and we wanted to get that corrected."
"You are just trying to teach them to be able to finish, finish, finish - whether it be each drill or turing in homework," Nutt continued. "Just no matter what you are doing - just finish."
Nutt said film of Thursday's scrimmage showed guys like defensive end Zac Snider, offensive lineman Nate Garner, running back Kyle Payne and offensive lineman Chase Pressley were improving.
He also said that although their passing numbers were not eye-catching, quarterbacks Robert Johnson, Alex Mortensen and Cole Barthel were pleasing in some danger areas.
"What they did yesterday was very good," Nutt said. "They didn't force the ball, didn't have a turnover, didn't try to create something on their own. Use your teammates, use the snap count and take your team and make first downs and take your team and put them in the end zone. For most part, it was a much better day for the quarterbacks."
Friday's workout was held inside the Walker Indoor Pavilion after rains saturated the UA's outdoor practice fields Thursday night and Friday morning.
"Our fields, especially on the grass field, is wearing down very quickly," Nutt said. "You just didn't want it to become any worse. You need all your fields. The grass field needs a little help so we just don't rub it raw. So we just came in here and it's a good change of pace before we go in the stadium."
Seven players were donned in pink jerseys on Friday as a result of their loafs or missed assignments in the past couple of days.
"It was a couple of different guys," Nutt said. "Some of them got rid of them. Each day hopefully we will get less and less."
Two guys that were hurt during Thursday's workout - defensive lineman Keith Jackson and safety Lerinzo Robinson - were able to practice on Friday.
"Keith took a pretty good shot," Nutt said. "He took a little bit of a high low where a lineman has his hand on him and he comes a back and cuts him. I just glad he didn't get hurt. He had a little bit of swelling and it wasn't too bad."
Tight end Jared Hicks did not practice and has a possible slight separation on his previously injured shoulder according to Nutt.
"He landed on his shoulder when Vickiel hit him yesterday so he will probably be out for a few days," Nutt said. "But I am glad we have numbers and depth at tight end. With Marc Winston coming on and Mason (Templeton), Lance Thompson and Wes Murphy, you still have some numbers there."
One of the standouts during practice has been wideout Marcus Monk.
"Marcus has been so consistent," Nutt said. "He is so much better now. He is a very intelligent player. I feel like he is a guy we can go to, a guy we can really trust that can go and make big plays."
Monk, who shined in his rookie year on campus, is going through his first spring practice.
"You can improve in your fundamentals," Nutt said. "Getting off the line of scrimmage was one of the toughest things for him with the speed at corner in the league. He has improved in that area already and I think he has gotten faster. He is also getting used to new quarterbacks."
Friday Grid Report, 4-1
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