FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas had its first scrimmage of the preseason this past Saturday and now they will have two in the next week according to Chad Morris.
Saturday’s scrimmage was a long one. Following Wednesday’s practice, Morris talked about the upcoming one on Saturday.
“We won’t be on the stadium this week,” Morris said. “It will probably be another week before we get out there. I do not anticipate going as long. We’ve got a lot of our former players coming in. We’ve got our former player Barbecue. We’re excited to have a lot of our former players back in town and being around our players, our team.
“I don’t anticipate it being a 170-plus plays. We’ll go well in excess of 100 plays. But we’ve got it more kinda by design more situational. I want to see what we do in first down play, second down and we’ve got a lot of red zone work this week. Short yardage work this week and that will all carry over to Saturday in the scrimmage as well.”
Morris talked about what he’s looking for in the scrimmages.
“Consistency in all positions,” Morris said. “I would like to come out of this scrimmage with a really good indication on both sides of the ball of who are we going into that first game week and start two weeks out really rep ping those guys and getting them ready to go. That’s our goal as a staff and hopefully we will get there.
“We will have one more scrimmage, it will be that following Wednesday. But that is our goal right now.”
This time of year you are always reading about injuries across the country, what is the line you have to walk as coaching staff to be physical, but not get guys hurt?
“We try to teach the tempos of practice that we go through and we are always showing video of guys taking care of each other in practice,” Morris said. “If we can practice full speed and no what the tempo is, you don’t have to bring guys to the ground every play.
“You can’t do that and the (NCAA) rule says you can do that anyway. But we have to learn to practice the right way and it has been such an emphasis for the coaching staff on teaching our young man how to practice the right way. You do that and you get a lot of stuff done.
“It’s practice 10 and you only get so many opportunities to get this football team ready for the season. Once the season gets here, we all know how fast it goes. We get two good practices a week. So trying to develop a young man during the course of a season is really hard.
“So right now is the time and the challenge and the grind of camp and that is what we are doing. Football is a contact sport. Injuries are part of the game, but when we do practice and understand how to practice the right way and staying off the ground, those injuries are less likely to happen.”
Arkansas will return to the practice fields on Thursday at 10:05 a.m. While Arkansas was in shorts on Wednesday it will be different on Thursday.
“Well, we’ve been live yesterday, so today we pulled back in shorts,” Morris said. “We’ll be live back tomorrow.”
The Razorbacks open the season on Saturday, Aug. 31, at 3 p.m. in Reynolds Razorback Stadium against Portland State. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.