With some 20 or so junior recruits and some former Razorback stars looking on, the University of Arkansas football team got in a little scrimmaging after all at the end of Saturday's practice.
A 60-play scrimmage open to the public had been planned, but was called off mid-week when there were not enough able-bodied offensive lineman to pull it off.
But with redshirt offensive freshman Jonathon Luigs back in the mix, the Razorbacks got in 15 or so plays on Saturday after head coach Houston Nutt had been upset with their performance in Friday's practice.
"We didn't feel like we got enough done (Friday)," Nutt said. "We felt like that was a wasted day. Even though we had helmets on, you can get a lot done, but we didn't. We had a little different mindset (Saturday). The guys came out and practiced hard, and a lot of the guys wanted to scrimmage and kept urging us, too."
Nutt said the offense had the upper hand early on in the scrimmage.
"We started out well without any penalties, any turnovers and we moved the chains," Nutt said. That's what we have got to realize. - when you don't make mistakes, block the person you're supposed to block, hit the hole and have good ballhandling, you'll be able to make first downs."
The scrimmage ended on a high note for the defense, despite being on the verge of being scored as freshman quarterback Cole Barthel hooked up with tight end Mason Templeton near the goal line.
But a vicious hit by safety Vickiel Vaughn popped the ball loose and Randy Kelly picked it off and headed the other way for a score.
"The defense really stepped up towards the end on the last seven or eight plays. They're getting better on their blitzes, hitting some holes with some authority and doing a much better job. We (the offense) are having a much harder time getting off the line of scrimmage."
Nutt said the offense will emphasize not letting that happen in the rest of the practices.
"Our receivers today got bumped at the line of scrimmage, which disrupts your routes and your timing," Nutt said. "Those are the things we will come back and concentrate hard on next week with five days remaining."
Barthel also took a big shot from several defenders right before the last play.
"The last 15 plays were live and they got after it," Nutt said. "There were some big hits."
Nutt said there were a lot of players who stood out on Saturday and mentioned fullback Brandon Kennedy, defensive end Desmond Sims, linebackers Pierre Brown and Sam Olajubutu, and offensive linemen Kyle Roper, Stephen Parker and Robert Felton.
The practice marked the 10th of 15 Razorback spring practices with one week of workouts left to get in.
Arkansas will practice Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday before closing its spring drills with a Saturday workout that was to have included a Red-White game.
That won't be the case now, but there will be some scrimmaging thrown in around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday that will be followed by the Razorfest Alumni 7-on-7 game at 1 p.m.
"It will not be the spring game that we planned," Nutt said. "It was planned to be a full-blown spring game. With a depleted offensive line, we'll probably have a little practice first. We will scrimmage for our fans and we will keep Razorfest going. We want that to happen and we want our fans to be there. It just will not be a 60- to 70-play game we had planned on. One day we will get there."
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