Mallett, junior quarterback, didn't participate in the scrimmage. And and he did put his boot back on when he threw some in the pre-scrimmage part of the practice.
Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino praised Mallett for a good mental spring and noted some work the All-SEC quarterback has done in improving his "wrist action" in his passing release over the spring.
"I was happy with things we did out there today, but we still have a lot of work to do and a lot of things to clean up," the Arkansas head coach said. "But I think the thing that showed up was the the physical nature of the scrimmage. I thought it was the most physical scrimmage that we've had. The defense was running around and making hits, making plays on the ball.
"The offense got off to a nice start, which is different because today we started out with the pressure right off the bat with the defense blitzing right off the bat instead of being base. The offense did a good job of handling it and made some big plays. We had some guys make some nice runs.
"Defensively, I thought they competed hard. I thought we were flying to the ball. I didn't think we had the errors on defense that we've had in the previous scrimmage as far as assignment errors, guys not being in the right gaps. Therefore it was much more competitive and much harder day for the offense to move the ball and get it in the end zone.
"Again, I'm encouraged with what we see, but we still have a long ways to go."
Quarterbacks Tyler Wilson, Nick Petrino and Jacoby Walker all had productive days, but also had trouble with the defense at different points. Redshirt freshman Brandon Mitchell was still out of the workout, at home after a death in his family.
Wilson completed 14 of 24 passes without any touchdowns or interceptions for 184 yards. Petrino was 17 of 28 for two touchdowns, 131 yards. He was sacked twice. Walker completed 13 of 18 for 176 yards with two interceptions and two touchdowns. He also rushed 7 times for 42 yards. He rushed for one touchdown. He split his time between the second and third team.
Petrino said all three quarterbacks "were good at times. They missed a few checks. I thought Jacoby Waker did a nice job there when he was with the twos, did a nice job late there. He had some bad luck earlier with the receivers not running the right routes. He's a very poised young guy.
"Tyler (Wilson) has been good. He's throwing the ball well. He still presses at times. He still needs to learn how to relax and not get upset and not worry about the previous play. I think that's the thing Coach (Garrick) McGee has been working on the most, put the last play behind you whether it's good or bad and move on to the next one. I think he's been throwing the ball well."
Mallett continues to be active in practice without taking any contact work. He's yet to don pads, but is available in certain passing drills or in pre-practice when centers and quarterbacks work on shotgun snaps. He had moments when his protective "boot" for a broken bone in his leg was off on Friday.
"They just wanted me to wear the boot while I was doing drills and then when I was done I could walk around without it," Mallett said. "It's a scrimmage day so I wasn't going to do anymore drills.
"I'm trying to be involved because I want to be part of this team. We're real close and I'm trying to do as much as I can to help the team get better.
"My foot feels good. I've just got to keep grinding and going to get treatment every day until they give me the green light to go full-go."
What is Mallett's impression of spring drills?
"I think it's going well, especially for the young guys," Mallett said. "They're getting better every day. Jacoby got better from last scrimmage to this one. I thought he looked better. He had a couple of mistakes but we all do that.
"It's a little different this year because I can't take snaps. I'm not worried about what I'm going to do so I'm focusing on what the other guys are doing and trying to mentor them if they have a question.
"I thought the quarterbacks looked good today. There were a couple of complete mess-ups but we made some solid plays, too. Tyler made a throw down the sideline right after he got his butt chewed and that's what you've got to do in the SEC is bounce back from the last play and keep throwing.
"Jacoby is going through growing pains. He gets it, though. That's what he's got going for him: he gets it. He needs to throw the ball a little bit harder sometimes but he gets the game and he's only going to get better. The sky is the limit for him." Petrino sees the positives of what Mallett brings to the table, even when he's not practicing.
"I think Ryan's done a great job all spring," Petrino said. "He's helped the other quarterbacks. I'm impressed when I turn around and they are talking about the previous play. They are talking about what the look was, what the blitz was or the quarterback didn't make the right call at the line of scrimmage, they are already discussing it. Mentally, Ryan has got a lot out of spring ball. It's nice to see him out there and able to throw it a little bit.
"He's getting some work in and he's worked hard on his wrist action and his release. I think his release has looked really good."
Ronnie Wingo led the runners with 12 carries for 71 yards and one touchdown and two catches for 17 yards. Dennis Johnson carried 8 times for 46 yards and one touchdown. Johnson had three catches for 47 yards. Broderick Green had seven carries for 16 yards. Knile Davis, who had two lost yardage plays for 17 yards, carried five times 2 yards. Davis had two catches for 10 yards. Mitchell Bailey rushed four times for 29 yards.
The quarterbacks did a nice job of spreading the ball around to their receivers. Greg Childs was 4 for 57, Chris Gragg was 4 for 52 (1 TD), Cobi Hamilton 4-14, Lance Ray 4-67, Austin Tate 4-24, De'Anthony Curtis 4-40, D. J. Williams, 3-44, Jarius Wright 3-48.
"That's a good group of running backs," Petrino said. "The emphasis today was yards after contact and never getting knocked back. They were competing and trying to finish runs and always going forward. Coach (Tim) Horton was on them about great backs always fall forward. That was the emphasis and you could see they were working hard and competing."
Sophomore middle linebacker Terrell Williams was around the ball and passed some solid hits. He also made an interception.
"He's very capable of being a physical player," Petrino said. "That was good to see. He's really matured in spring ball. We've got him at the right position. We had some guys helping him get in the right position, but that's good because then he can relax, run to the ball and make contact."
There were more pass breakups than in past scrimmages. Petrino knew why.
"You know, we've been working a lot more zone coverage in this part of spring practice," Petrino said. "It started off with a bunch of man. They came out today and ran a bunch of zone. When everyone is looking at the ball, you do touch the ball a lot more. You do touch the ball more. Your vision, the quarterback set and transfer -- there are a lot more interceptions. We've been seeing that all week. That's not a good thing offensively. But defensively, you like to see them break to the ball and get their hands on it."
How has the competition been in the offensive line?
"It's been great," Petrino said. "First, it's nice to have that much depth. Guys are competing extremely hard for those spots.
"Next week we'll probably work some different combinations to get guys used to different guys. We might do the spring game a little bit different. I'm still considering it, as far as splitting the teams up evenly and having it a little more competitive."
Has Dennis Johnson moved himself up higher on the depth chart with his spring?
"Those running backs, they are all at the top, they are all starters to me," Petrino said. "You try to find out who is hot. The thing I'm most impressed with Dennis is his leadership, how well he's doing on leading, how much happier he is at practice. He knows it's going to be hard and he comes out with a smile on his face. Today, I thought his vision was really good. You could stand back there and watch the cuts and he was right on, his vision, his quickness in the hole and his acceleration in the hole.
"I think the offensive line is sustaining blocks a little longer. We are getting used to what we are doing in the running game."
Here is a summary of Friday's scrimmage, by possession with the quarterback under center for each drive:
Ones vs. Ones, Tyler Wilson at quarterback, 7 plays 80 yards. Wilson passed 30 yards to Jarius Wright for the touchdown. Safety Ross Rasner had a chance at Wright at the 10, but Wright spun off to score. Jake Bequette had a sack to set up second-and-17 before the touhdown play.
Twos vs. Twos, Nick Petrino at quarterback. It was three and out, with Petrino throwing incomplete on third-and-4 in the flats.
Twos vs. Twos, Nick Petrino at quarterback, 8 play 80 yard TD march. Petrino found Dennis Johnson on a swing pass for the final 32 yards. Anthony Leon had a chance to knock Johnson out of bounds after about 10 yards and didn't get a solid piece of the back. Ronnie Wingo converted a third-and-1 play with 29-yard burst.
Threes vs. Threes, Jacoby Walker at QB. Walker six-play, 80-yard TD march with a 38-yard pass to Chris Gragg. (It appeared Gragg was down at the 1, but the head coach called the drive over.)
Ones vs. ones, Wilson at QB. It was three and out when Wilson was sacked twice, by Tramain Thomas and Lavunce Askew.
Ones vs. ones, Wilson at QB. The offense failed on fourth-and-1 and didn't get a first down in the possession when Wilson was incomplete on a pass slightly behind Knile Davis.
Twos vs. twos, Petrino at QB. It was a three-and-out possession. Askew stopped Davis for an 8-yard loss on first down.
Twos vs. twos, Petrino at QB. The offense kept it 17 plays, but came up empty when Petrino passed incomplete for Gragg on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line. A holding penalty wiped away a long pass to Jarius Wright that would have been a TD. Johnson converted fourth-and-3 with a 11-yard sweep to the 8-yard line.
Ones vs. ones, Wilson at QB. Alex Tejada booted a 23-yard field goal after the offense stalled at the 6-yard line. Jerry Franklin had a pass breakup and Greg Childs appeared to miss a check at the line on the third-and-goal from the 6. Wilson threw a fade when Childs ran a slant.
Ones vs. ones, Wilson at QB. Wilson was incomplete twice, then took a coverage sack on a three and out.
Ones vs. ones, Wilson at QB. The offense marched 45 yards in four plays. Wilson had back-to-back completions to De'Anthony Curtis of 27 and 15 yards. Dennis Johnson rolled up the middle for the final 8 yards.
Twos vs. twos, Petrino at QB. The offense converted two first downs, but Petrino was sacked by Ryan Calender then passed incomplete with a pass breakup from Terrell Williams.
Twos vs. twos, Petrino at QB. The offense converted three first downs, but failed on fourth-and-17 from the 31 when Petrino's nice throw down the middle was dropped by Curtis past the first down stakes.
Threes vs. threes, Walker at QB. Ronald Watkins was stripped by Ryan Powers, with Powers scooping. It would have been a long return, but was blown dead.
Threes vs. threes, Walker at QB. Walker finished a 9-play, 60-yard drive by scrambling up the middle for a 10-yard TD run on fourth-and-5. Walker had a 27-yard run on an option run for the big play.
Ones vs. ones, Wilson at QB. The offense rolled 60 yards in eight plays with Wingo rolling around right end for the final 2 yards, converting third-and-goal. Wilson hit D. J. Williams for 23 yards on the first play of the drive for the big play.
Twos vs. twos, Petrino at QB. It was a 40-yard TD drive in four plays. Petrino found Lance Ray for gains of 7 and 17 yards, then finished it with a 9-yard TD pass to Johnson.
Twos vs. twos, Walker at QB. It was a 1-play possession. Walker found Ray for a 38-yard pass. He was down at the 2-yard line, but Petrino called that drive a success and had the ball put down at the 40 again.
Twos vs. twos, Walker at QB. The offense converted two first downs, one of them a Walker to Childs pass for 14 yards. Walker tried Curtis on a screen on third-and-11, but Freddy Burton blasted that play for a 4-yard loss.
Threes vs. threes, Walker at QB. Stephen Barrett intercepted Walker, sitting in zone and making a nice step-in on a deep curl. Walker converted one first down with a throw to Austin Tate.
Threes vs. threes, Walker at QB. Jerry Mitchell stepped in on a skinny post to intercept Walker on the second play.
Threes vs. threes, Walker at QB. Walker found Alvin Chambers on a 24-yard touchdown pass. Ronald Watkins had a 12-yard run.