FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas will hold its ninth practice this preseason on Monday morning.
On Saturday the team had its first preseason scrimmage. They will hold another big scrimmage on Saturday.
Here’s three goals this week for the football team.
Build Off the Scrimmage
The scrimmage was generally given a decent mark by Chad Morris, but now that the first scrimmage is in the books the intensity will turn up even another notch.
“I’m pleased with where we are,” Morris said. “Obviously next Saturday I expect it to be better than it was this Saturday. But these guys came out there and really, really everybody got some quality reps in there.”
Since the scrimmage was closed to the media only the coaches and observers allowed to watch know exactly how it went, but it appears the team is much improved over this time last year. They just need to continue to maintain the focus and not get complacent. Monday will be a good test it will be the hottest day thus far for the Hogs and Morris has talked about how everyone looks great in the first day or two of practice.
“Fall camp’s long now,” Morris said following the first practice. “We’re just in shorts and everybody’s an All-American when you’re in shorts right now. But when the pads come on and you’re about day nine of camp, you’ll find out a lot about people. You’ll find out a lot about our running backs and our quarterbacks and our D-line. You’ll find out a lot about people.”
Day nine of camp will be Monday.
Separation at Positions
No depth charts have been released by Arkansas, but it’s obvious following a 2-10 season the battles for positions are intense this fall. The coaches are searching for the best players at each position and the seniors and other leaders on the team are determined not to have another season like 2018. Competition is great it makes everyone better. Dustin Fry actually have options this fall on the offensive line something he had in 2018, but on an extremely limited basis due to numbers and injuries. But now it’s time for players to start separating themselves from the others at their position. Of course players such as De’Jon Harris, Sosa Agim, T.J. Smith and Kamren Curl on defense have done that. The Hogs need players on both sides of the ball at the contested positions to take command this week. Quarterback is one position everyone asks about, but there’s several positions on both sides of the ball and special teams where the coaches are waiting for someone to show the consistency to earn the starting role.
Get Better Each Day In Practice
It sounds like coach speak to say the key is be better Monday than you were Saturday, be better Tuesday than Monday and on and on. But actually that is the key to becoming a better player. As Lou Holtz was so fond of saying a player either gets better or worse because he never stays the same. It appears the players have a huge buy-in this season and that is a nice beginning to improving as a player.
“I think we’re right on track,” Morris said. “I think it all starts with what we’ve talked about early on in the start of this season with the culture and where we are with the culture of our football program. And to be able to watch our guys go out there in a 170-something play scrimmage and continue to give it. Give the effort and the intensity we’re asking. It shows we’re definitely on the right track. But there’s no finish line though. There is no finish line in this. This is all about getting up and being the absolute best we can be every day and get better. This football team got better today.”
Arkansas opens the season on Saturday, Aug. 31, in Reynolds Razorback Stadium at 3 p.m. against Portland State.