Scrimmage Highlights, 8/24

Arkansas scrimmaged for 55 plays Saturday night before a crowd in excess of 10,000 at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

The obvious highlight was the crowd. Fan Appreciation Day packed them in for the afternoon, and again for the evening scrimmage in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

Kevin Trainor and Rick Schaeffer, the new and the old of UA sports information directors, estimated the attendance at between 12,000 and 14,000. The lower section of the west side, which seats 22,000, was three fourths covered, but with loose seating. I'd say around 10,000, for sure, maybe 11,000.

All three quarterbacks had some obvious highlights, but Matt Jones may have made the fewest mistakes. He was not involved with any turnovers. Jackson made some great throws, but also threw an interception (on the scrimmage's first play) and battled second-team center Kyle Roper's snaps throughout the evening.

"We can throw and catch better than we did tonight, and we can do better in some other areas, but I'm proud of our team," Houston Nutt said. "We got a lot of young players on tape and that was the goal.

"I'm not ready to say anything on the quarterback battle. We have another scrimmage. But, all three of these quarterbacks can win. They all are doing good things as far as checks and the flow of substitution. They all can get better, too. We've got three strong guys at quarterback.

"One thing we need is better protection. We missed some assignments, but the first line did pretty good. Dan Doughty looked good to me. I was watching the guard/center gaps, and we controlled things there pretty well. I think Doughty did pretty well."

Matt Jones said his shoulder felt fine, and he expects it to be good now that two-a-days are complete.

"In the summer, I threw a lot more passes than we are going to be throwing now, and I could tell a big difference tonight after resting it yesterday and all day today," Jones said.

Jones said he felt no pain or soreness when he sprinted left to fire a 40-yard strike into the end zone for a Richard Smith touchdown early in the scrimmage.

"Maybe if it had gone incomplete I would have been hurting," Jones said. "It got there, but it didn't have enough zip. I'll get that zip back now that we are done with two-a-days.

"This was a lot of fun. That's what I try to make sure when I play that I have fun. It was good for all of us. I think all three quarterbacks got sacked and hit pretty good. That's something we need."

It didn't appear that the Hogs sustained any serious injuries. The seriousness of J. Strain's injury from Friday is still undetermined. He'll have an MRI on Monday. Strain watched from the sideline with a leg wrap.

Jones was used sparingly during the scrimmage with Tarvaris Jackson and Ryan Sorahan getting the bulk of the work. Jackson engineered two drives, including a long TD pass on a post-corner route to Steven Harris. Jackson also set up another TD with a long scramble to the 1-yard line. Mark Pierce scored on the next play.

Nutt said the team would meet Sunday to review tape, but would not practice Sunday or Monday. Classes start at the UofA on Monday.


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