Running Back Impresses

Michael Smith might've left the biggest mark with his early bursts, but the junior wasn't the only running back that left an impression during Arkansas' scrimmage.

Freshman De'Anthony Curtis turned in a solid scrimmage debut for the Razorbacks. The Camden native rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. He also caught two passes for 11 yards and another score.

"He's a guy that's built low to the ground and has very good footwork," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "I thought he made a lot of yards after the first contact and we've just got to evaluate how he did in his pass protection and other aspects of playing running back."

Curtis has spent most of the summer getting carries behind Smith, who ran for 140 yards Sunday. He, fellow freshman Dennis Johnson (69 yards) and sophomore Chip Gregory (66 yards and a touchdown) are fighting for carries this fall.

He broke off a 23-yarder on his second attempt, which set up his one-yard touchdown run a play later. He also scored Arkansas' second touchdown of the scrimmage when he caught a 5-yard pass from quarterback Casey Dick.

Curtis said the biggest hurdle has been getting used to the speed of the game and the heavy hitting at the college level.

But Curtis believes he has gotten off to a good start after the first week of practice.

"I knew coach wanted some intensity," he said. "I knew it was going to be hard work and a lot of grinding. I had to dig deep down inside to find it."



Option Quarterback

Quarterback Casey Dick isn't exactly known for his foot speed, but the senior did break off a 13-yard run on an option play Sunday.

"He's asked me to run the ball a little bit more and tuck it when things don't go our way," Dick said.

The Razorbacks spent time working on option plays during practice last week. The unusual look may be in the playbook, but Dick said he's not ready to call himself a dual-threat quarterback.

"I just take advantage of what they give us," he said.



Williams Plays After All

Tight end D.J. Williams wasn't expected to scrimmage because of an undisclosed injury, but the sophomore was on the field Sunday.

"That's not my decision," Petrino said. "That's the decision of the trainers and doctors. They brought him in this morning, he did some workouts and everything was fine. So they gave him the green light to go."

Williams caught three passes for 29 yards. He and the rest of Arkansas' tight ends — Ben Cleveland and Andrew Davie — combined to catch 11 passes for 122 yards and a touchdown.

"We don't have too much depth so when one goes down, it makes it harder for everybody else," said Williams, who wouldn't discuss the extent of his injury. "I was just trying to get out and help the team out in any way possible."



Other Injuries

There were plenty of Razorbacks that missed Sunday's scrimmage, though.

Receiver Joe Adams, defensive end Jake Bequette, running back Brandon Barnett, tight end Lance Thompson, offensive lineman Kareem Crowell, cornerback Jerell Norton and defensive tackle Brandon Lampkin didn't participate.

Neither did linebacker Tenarius Wright, who wore a walking boot on his left foot on the sidelines. Petrino said the freshman, who is expected to help Arkansas' defense immediately, appeared to have an ankle injury.



Inside or Out?

Arkansas faced a small dilemma with the bad weather that blanketed the area Saturday night and early Sunday.

Should they move the scrimmage inside and stay out of the rain? Or should they keep it outside and get some work on the natural grass?

"I wanted to really go outside," Petrino said. "We were in touch with the meteorologist; he told us it would quit raining a little bit after 9. So we stretched inside, held off as long as we could.

"It was good to be on the grass."



Quick Hits

• Freshman Jerico Nelson worked with the first-team defense at strong safety after Dallas Washington left with what appeared to be leg cramps. Nelson delivered one of the biggest hits when he popped fullback John Durmon on a pass play.

• Senior receiver Reggie Fish worked with the first-team offense. Fish lined up along with London Crawford and Carlton Salters in Arkansas' three-receiver set. He finished the day with two catches for 18 yards.

• The extra point team had a rough start. Holder Matt Harris couldn't field a snap on the first attempt and led to an incomplete pass. Arkansas tried again and Alex Tejada missed the extra point. Finally, on the third attempt, the ball squeezed through the uprights.

• Athletic director Jeff Long took in the scrimmage — sort of. Long spent most of the morning talking on his cell phone in the end zone.

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