The Arkansas Red-White Spring Game featured plenty of offense for the thousands of fans in attendance at Razorback Stadium on Saturday, but left many worrying about the defense.
Both sides scored a total of 50 combined points, including two passing touchdowns by KJ Jefferson that went for more than 30-yards in the first quarter.
Maybe it could’ve been early game jitters, but the defense knows those mistakes will cost them in the fall.
“I think we kind of had a couple breakdowns. We can’t have those as a defense. Coach (Sam) Carter has told us we can’t have that early in a game. That’s definitely something we will watch on film and correct and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said redshirt sophomore defensive back, Jalen Catalon. “I’m glad it happened so we understand that no matter how good we think we are, we can always get beat if we are not mentally prepared right from the start.”
The defense did settle down after those errors, recovering a two fumbles as well as recording 13 total tackles for loss between both teams. And head coach Sam Pittman says he’s not worried about the few slip ups, but rather the entire body of work this spring.
“I’ve said it multiple times that I’m so proud of the way our secondary plays and our unit back there. And I know there was a couple of guys that got behind them, but I’m not really worried about that. We will get that fixed,” Pittman said.
While the big plays will be identified and cleaned up, the defense did play discipline throughout the game. The Red and White teams combined for just four defensive penalties – three offsides calls and one pass interference.