Around 3,500 fans took advantage, but most left before the scrimmage was half over. Petrino's typical August practice incudes a 15-minute break, a sort of halftime. When that period hit Saturday morning in Reynolds Razorback Stadium, the scrimmage was only about 75 plays deep.
Most, thinking the Hogs were done, headed for the exit. Little did they know they were going to miss over 100 live scrimmage plays, incuding 40 featuring the first team offense.
And, most probably left thinking the first defense still has a ways to go. That was the impression the Arkansas head coach got on a mild August morning that had the Hogs on the field for close to three hours.
"The defense has got to get better and we all know it," Petrino said. "I thought they would fly around like they did a week ago (in a scrimmage). I didn't see it. We want to get 11 guys going full speed making hard contact. We are going to take a good look at the competition (on defense)."
Later, during his post-scrimmage session with the media, there were questions about the defense. Petrino responded, "I didn't like what I saw. They were not aggressive. They didn't tackle. They ducked their heads. You'd expect the (number one) defense to stop the number two offense. I thought they would generate a pass rush."
As it was, backup quarterback Tyler Wilson had his way with the first defense. While the defense handled goal line situations better, Wilson moved the ball in the middle of the field, completing 13 straight passes early in the scrimmage.
Petrino said the offensive line did well and he praised running backs Michael Smith, Dennis Johnson, Ronnie Wingo and Knile Davis. He said Wingo and Davis are learning that you must run down hill at this level or you'll be tackled while they dance. He said both are learning to run down hill.
Johnson generated the most praise and was effective throughout the scrimmage. Johnson, hearing the words of his head coach afterwards, said, "If Coach Petrino is happy then I'm happy. I think I've learned about work ethic and attitude. I've tried to do well in those areas and that's where I've improved the most."
Mallett wasn't pleased with his day. He missed a wide-open Ben Cleveland on a post pattern, throwing long. He also was just a hair low on a flag route by Joe Adams that would have been a touchdown. He was just off on several other open receivers, although coverage was tight on several of those.
"We had inconsistent play at quarterback," Mallett said. "The offensive line was very good and we ran the ball well. We'd been on fire the last week. We have to go watch film and see what happened."
The big messup of the day came when Mallett had the ball slip from his grasp while trying to unload a pass. It popped into the air for defensive tackle Lavunce Askew to intercept. Askew rolled 70 yards for a touchdown.
"That was a crazy play," Mallett said. "It slipped out of my hand. After it happens, you can't do nothing about it. The ball slipped out and I couldn't find it."
Backup quarterback Tyler Wilson was involved in two turnovers. He lost a fumble on play that started at the defenses' 1-yard line. Wendel Davis scooped it up at the goal line and was off to the races before he ran into coaches about the 20-yard line behind the offensive huddle. Wilson had a pass batted into the air by Jake Bequette and intercepted by Adrian Davis on a botched screen.
The turnover by Mallett drew a comment from the head coach. Petrino said, "That's an interception for a touchdown. That's a bad play."
Running back Michael Smith got in more action than the previous week when he was mostly a spectator in fall camp's first major scrimmage.
"It's football and I wanted to play," he said. "I was upset last week that I didn't get much. You need live reps to get ready for a game. I needed some today. You have to take a few hits before you get in game so you'll have some rhythm.
"Really, I thought I was going to get it more than I did. All the running backs did. But there were a lot of run calls that Mallett checked out of to pass plays. You have to do that. You have to keep the defense honest and spread it around.
"I thought running backs did well today. As a whole, the backs had a good day."
Dennis Johnson said, "Our quarterbacks have to do that. If it's crowded, the quarterback has to keep us safe and go to the pass. Mallett did check out of a lot of plays. He's good at that. I thought we ran up and down the field in the first half, but didn't do quite as well in the second half. Defense might have gotten us a little in the second half today."
Greg Childs was a big target for both quarterbacks. He called it an okay day, noting he was most proud of his blocking.
"That's been a big point of emphasis and I think we got some (blocks) down the field today to help our backs," Childs said. "Some of that was in play-action stuff. That is where we have to block and give our backs a chance after they've caught the ball.
"Overall, I think the receivers have caught the ball well this camp. We caught it pretty good today. We had good focus coming out and when we do that, it's going to work out."
Petrino was pleased with the heavy dose of special teams, including live kickoffs and punts. Dennis Johnson had a long kickoff return and Joe Adams took a punt 85 yards for a touchdown. Alex Tejada had a decent day, although one hold was bad resulting in a missed kick.
The starting kickoff return team appeared to be Bret Harris, Jerry Franklin, Tramain Thomas, Freddy Burton, Matt Harris, Turrell Williams, Ben Cleveland, Seth Armbrust, Van Stumon, Ramon Broadway and Dennis Johnson (deep).
The starting kickoff team appeared to be Alex Tejada, Tramain Thomas, Ramon Broadway, Jerry Franklin, Seth Armbrust, Freddy Burton, Turrell Williams, Jerico Nelson, Matt Harris and Jarius Wright.
"All of this live special teams work will help us," Petrino said. "We tried to make it as close to a game as we could with live kicks. I thought we did pretty well there."
With all the full contact, the good news was there didn't appear to be a serious injury. Linebacker Jelani Smith limped off the field with what appeared to be a leg or knee bruise.
Also on the injury report, Broderick Green, ill most of the week, was at the scrimmage, but not in full pads. Wide receiver London Crawford dressed out, but did not scrimmage.
"London wanted to go and was ready," Petrino said. "We made the decision to hold him out. He'd practiced the last couple of days was limping some. We wanted to hold him out."
Cornerback David Gordon practiced in the early part of the workout, but didn't scrimmage, wearing a yellow jersey for an apparent shoulder injury. Anthony Leon was dressed for contact, but didn't appear to get any snaps. He has some leg strains of some type.
Petrino tried to warn against looking at any quarterback numbers as a thought to what a game might bring. He noted that it was a long scrimmage, perhaps several games worth of plays. With that in mind, here are the stats:
PASSING: Ryan Mallett - 31-of-51, 381 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT; Tyler Wilson - 22-of-31, 243 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT; Brandon Mitchell - 10-of-14, 99 yards, 2 TD; Nick Petrino - 4-of-8, 46 yards, 1 TD.
RUSHING: Ronnie Wingo 19 rush, 80 yards; Knile Davis 12 rush, 45 yards, 1 TD; Dennis Johnson 9 rush, 74 yards, 1 TD; Michael Smith 6 rush, 74 yards, 1 TD; De'Anthony Curtis 6 rush, 38 yards; Ronald Watkins 4 rush, 28 yards ; Nick Petrino 3 rush, 15 yards; Ryan Mallett 3 rush, -9 yards; Gerry Grace 2 rush, 16 yards; John Durmon 2 rush, 6 yards; Brandon Mitchell 2 rush, 1 yard; Jarius Wright 1 rush, 20 yards; Van Stumon 1 rush, 2 yards; Tyler Wilson 1 rush, -3 yards.
RECEIVING: Greg Childs 9 rec., 109 yards, 1 TD; Carlton Salters 7 rec., 116 yards; Joe Adams 6 rec., 94 yards; Cobi Hamilton 6 rec., 78 yards, 2 TD; Ronnie Wingo 5 rec., 29 yards; Jarius Wright 4 rec., 37 yards; Ben Cleveland 4 rec., 32 yards, 2 TD; Dennis Johnson 3 rec., 52 yards, 1 TD; Lance Ray 3 rec., 30 yards; Reggie Fish 3 rec., 29 yards; Austin Tate 2 rec., 37 yards; D.J. Williams 2 rec., 26 yards; Neal Barlow 2 rec., 26 yards; Knile Davis 2 rec., 18 yards; Bobby Petrino - 2 rec., 14 yards; John Durmon - 2 rec., 12 yards; Austin Tucker 1 rec., 12 yards; Colton Nash - 1 rec., 8 yards; De'Anthony Curtis 1 rec., 4 yards
KICKING: Alex Tejada 5-for-7 FGs (Made: 31, 36, 48, 24, 36; Missed 44, 44); 4-for-4 PAT; Cameron Bryan 1-for-2 FGs (Made: 25; Missed: 43); 1-for-2 PATs.