Saturday Grid Update, 8/21

Arkansas' final open practice of the preseason resembled some of its first, with fundamentals worked on across the board. Travis Swanson continued to work with the first-team offense.

Arkansas followed up its Thursday night scrimmage with a two-plus hour workout inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Saturday morning.

It was back to the basics for the Razorbacks, with a practice that resembled those we've come accustomed to seeing in early August. Quarterbacks and receivers worked for several periods in skeleton drills, offensive linemen worked on blocking technique and tackling dummies were pulled out for the defenders.

While Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino hasn't made any public comments since Thursday night's scrimmage - a 58-27 affair in less than three quarters - the third-year coach seemed more pleased with the team's focus level Saturday. At one point during the practice Petrino could be heard asking his assistant coaches, "Why didn't we come out with that intensity Thursday? We never play this hard in the scrimmages."

It was evident coaches made some minor adjustments based on individual play Thursday night. The most notable were redshirt freshman Travis Swanson taking all snaps at center with the first-team offense and senior Anthony Leon taking the majority of snaps at outside linebacker with the first-team defense.

Swanson had rotated every-other-series with Seth Oxner on Thursday. Oxner worked exclusively with the second-team offense Saturday.

Leon, who moved to linebacker from safety last week, continued to look good in that role. In the span of four plays he dropped a would-be interception and deflected a pass that was intercepted by Tenarius Wright.

Most of the defensive formations ran Saturday included only two linebackers, whether it be a Nickel package or one with a five-man defensive front. Jermaine Love, who recorded six tackles Thursday night, continued to work out at middle linebacker with the first unit. Junior captain Jerry Franklin continued to work with the second-team primarily Saturday, though he rotated in for Leon at times with the first unit.

While D.D. Jones appears to have one tackle spot locked down, the door appears to be open for the other. Both Alfred Davis and Byran Jones got extensive work with the first team on Saturday. Byran Jones, a freshman, had worked with the reserves in Thursday's scrimmage.

Defensive tackle Patrick Jones missed Saturday's practice.

There was no live tackling Saturday as coaches appeared to give players a lighter practice to rest legs from the scrimmage two days earlier.

There were several periods devoted to the kicking game, in particular onside kicks and field goals. Alex Tejada and Eddie Camara each worked on onside kicks, while Zach Hocker joined the two in a field goal drill.

Tejada made 5 of 7 field goals, good twice from 20 and 36 yards and once from 42 yards. He had another 42-yard attempt bounce off the upright.

Camara connected on all three of his attempts from 40, 40 and 44 yards.

Hocker struggled, good on only 2 of 6 attempts, with makes from 34 and 44 yards. He missed a pair of 50-yard attempts late in the practice.

Arkansas' newcomers practiced for a few series on their own late in the drill. Tight end Garrett Uekman drew a loud cheer from the several fans on-hand with a one-handed catch. Saturday was the final open practice of the preseason with fan day to follow this afternoon.

Freshman receiver Marquel Wade was once again a no-show at Saturday's practice. Reports this week have said Wade has returned home to Jacksonville, Fla., to tend to personal matters. He did not play in Thursday's scrimmage.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories