What to know from Arkansas' football scrimmage Wednesday – SECcountry.com

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas held another spring scrimmage Wednesday evening. It was the final scrimmage before the spring game April 7 in Little Rock.

Coach Chad Morris addressed the media following the scrimmage. Click here to read the highlights from what he had to say. You can also click here to view the depth chart and stats from Saturday.

Additionally, here’s SEC Country reporter Trent Shadid’s list of notable happenings from the action Wednesday:

  • Arkansas’ defense was the more impressive side of the ball, especially early in the scrimmage. It was kind of a day that lent itself to that with light rain coming down consistently throughout the two-hour session. But still, it was an impressive showing from a defense that hasn’t had many of those the past two seasons.
  • The defense was at its best in a 3-2-6 alignment (3 linemen, 2 linebackers and 6 defensive backs). That is not a scheme Arkansas featured in its first scrimmage March 10.
  • In that set, McTelvin Agim is playing nose tackle. He had been starting at end previous this spring. Gabe Richardson and Randy Ramsey were the starting ends.
  • Richardson has come on strong lately to work his way among the starters. He got into a little scrap with guard Jalen Merrick at one point Wednesday, but did not come out on the better end of it.
  • Ramsey has been outstanding all spring. He had 2 sacks Wednesday. The coaches are very excited about him.
  • Of course, Dre Greenlaw and De’Jon Harris were still the starting linebackers in the 3-2-6 alignment.
  • Arkansas worked in Britto Tutt (CB) and Nate Dalton (S) along with regular starters Kamren Curl (SS), Santos Ramirez (FS), Ryan Pulley (CB) and Chevin Calloway (CB) also on the field. The 3-2-6 look is essentially three safeties and three cornerbacks. Not a bad idea considering Arkansas’ depth in the secondary and lack of depth on the line.
  • Curl has been great at safety so far. Before practice started, Morris came over to him and said: “You look good. You’ve had a good spring.”
  • Importantly, the defense didn’t surrender too many big gains. That has been a major issue at Arkansas the past two seasons. It was still a clear problem in the Hogs’ first scrimmage this spring. When the defense did give up a big play, they were still in position to keep the gain at 20 or 30 yards rather than a 50-yard touchdown.
  • One play that really stood out was Ramirez tackling running back Chase Hayden in space at the 3-yard line. Hayden had broken off a run of around 30 yards, but even as shifty as he is, he wasn’t able to get by Ramirez. The defense followed with a couple tackles for loss from Greenlaw and Harris, and the offense was held out of the end zone on the drive. After the series, defensive backs coach Mark Smith ran over to Ramirez and said: “Hell of tackle, Santos! That saved us a touchdown.”
  • Speaking of Hayden, he had a great blitz pickup in pass protection with linebacker Derrick Munson coming off the edge. The play ended up being an incompletion on a poor throw by quarterback Ty Storey, but it was just the type of thing Arkansas needs from Hayden to keep him on the field more regularly. Both he and fellow explosive running back T.J. Hammonds look improved in pass protection recently.
  • In the starting quarterback competition, Wednesday was most definitely won by Cole Kelley. He was 9-of-14 passing for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was jacked up, too. After scrambling to his right and throwing a touchdown to tight end La’Michael Pettway, Kelley screamed, “That’s six, baby!” and gave a big fist pump. That celebration happened right in my face on the sideline.
  • Storey, Kelley’s top competitor, struggled most of the day. He was working ahead of Kelley with the first team, but may not be next time out. Storey was 8-of-21 passing for 94 yards. He had a touchdown and an interception. His interception was his worst play of the day. He was leading a two-minute drill at the end of the scrimmage and put an end to a promising drive with a pass thrown right to linebacker D’Vone McClure, who probably would’ve scored a touchdown in more of a live-game situation.
  • Pettway struggled early with a couple of drops on passes from Storey. He responded nicely, though, catching 2 passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. He non-scoring catch was a gain of more than 40 yards and he beat standout Pulley comfortably on the play.
  • Fellow receiver Deon Stewart had a very impressive 30-yard catch in traffic.
  • Early enrollee Mike Woods continued to make his case for immediate playing time in the receiver rotation. He had 2 catches for 38 yards, including a touchdown.
  • Woods’ touchdown catch came on a pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Daulton Hyatt. He is clearly the third option at this point, but he had a great practice Wednesday. He and freshman quarterback Austin Aune have shown an ability to run, too.
  • Tight end Jeremy Patton, who had been a starter, was in a yellow jersey and didn’t participate in the scrimmage. He had a “stinger” Monday, according to Morris.
  • Wide receiver Brandon Martin also was in a yellow jersey and did not participate. He had a boot on his right foot because of a strain.
  • These players were in green non-contact jerseys with minor injuries: Kevin Richardson (DB), Koilan Jackson (WR), Kofi Boateng (WR), Reid Miller (DB), Bumper Pool (LB) and Austin Capps (DT). In a practice session such as Wednesday, players in green jerseys really can’t do much of anything. They’ll get more activity Thursday.
  • Wide receiver Jared Cornelius was no longer in a green jersey. He was still kept out of all the scrimmage, though. Morris said he is hopeful Cornelius can do mostly everything next week.

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