It's a late night here at the office, but I managed to slide my Fan Day scrimmage story in just in time for deadline.
So look for my recap of the scrimmage — which amounted to a story on receiver Cobi Hamilton's big night — in tomorrow's newspapers.
Before I'm done, though, here are a few other notes and newsworthy items from tonight. It will be followed by our "unofficial" scrimmage statistics.
• Hamilton was the offensive star of the night, but running back Jonathan Williams was a close second. The freshman got more work than usual with Knile Davis watching on the sideline and Dennis Johnson at home because of his grandmother's death. Williams rushed for 115 yards and 2 TDs. He also caught a TD pass. His longest run was the final play of the scrimmage, squirting through a hole for a 24-yard TD run against the first-team defense. Arkansas would like to redshirt Williams this season, but the kid is starting to prove he's worthy of consideration this season. John L. Smith is confident, at the very least, Williams will be ready if the Razorbacks need him this season.
• Don't count on Davis being tackled to the ground in a scrimmage setting at any point this preseason. It's becoming clear his first live tackle will come against Jacksonville State. Smith was asked about holding Davis out again tonight and said he sticks to the philosophy of getting his best players to game day healthy. Davis has been "thudded" in practice the past two weeks, but sits out during scrimmage work. I'd be shocked if that changes now.
• Arkansas' pass protection was much better tonight. Especially with the 2nd-team offensive line. We only counted three sacks during the scrimmage, although quarterbacks were flushed out and on the run a few other times. Still, there was nothing as bad as the disaster with the 2nd-team group last week. Perhaps it's why Brandon Allen looked much sharper tonight, completing 16 of 23 passes for 262 yards with 4 TDs and 2 INTs.
• The Razorbacks may just have a special duo at defensive end with Trey Flowers and Chris Smith. The two still have a ways to go, but their potential was pretty obvious again Saturday night. Flowers finished with two of Arkansas' three sacks. Smith nearly had an impressive interception, but the ball was knocked out of his hands by Wilson at the last minute. It's becoming pretty clear why Arkansas was comfortable enough in moving Tenarius Wright to linebacker in the spring. Those two could make an impact.
• It looked like the Arkansas offense (both units) was going to roll all over the defense Saturday night. But give the defense credit. The Razorbacks settled in and, for a time, starting coming up with stops to even things out in the scrimmage. There was one stretch in which the offense was held out of the end zone on six straight possessions. The first-team group was held out over a four-possession stretch in total at one point tonight. Paul Haynes and company won't like what happened early overall, but it could've been a lot worse.
• Some good news for the defense: Smith said Tenarius Wright, Alonzo Highsmith and Eric Bennett should all be ready to go when the Razorbacks return to the field Monday. The three returning starters have missed practically all of preseason camp because of injuries. Their absence did give younger players more extensive work with the first-team defense. So that has to help as Arkansas moves closer to the season, right? We'll see on Sept. 1.
ARKANSAS FAN DAY SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS
Tyler Wilson – 22-for-37 for 252 yards, 3 TDs
Brandon Allen – 16-for-23 for 262 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs
Brian Buehner – 0-for-1
Taylor Reed – 0-for-4
Jonathan Williams – 18 carries, 115 yards, 2 TDs
Ronnie Wingo – 19 carries, 76 yards
Kody Walker – 6 carries, 29 yards
Nate Holmes – 7 carries, 23 yards
Kiero Small – 1 carry, 6 yards, TD
Taylor Reed – 2 carries, 12 yards
Donovan Roberts – 1 carry, 1 yard
Brandon Allen – 1 carry, minus-5 yards
Tyler Wilson – 2 carries, minus-16 yards
Cobi Hamilton – 11 catches, 165 yards, 2 TDs
Austin Tate – 4 catches, 65 yards, TD
Demetrius Wilson – 4 catches, 56 yards
Ronnie Wingo – 4 catches, 35 yards
Chris Gragg – 3 catches, 25 yards, TD
Mekale McKay – 2 catches, 76 yards, TD
Demetrius Dean – 2 catches, 29 yards
Morgan Linton – 2 catches, 9 yards, TD
Jonathan Williams – 1 catch, 16 yards, TD
Javontee Herndon – 1 catch, 12 yards
Kody Walker – 1 catch, 11 yards
Keon Hatcher – 1 catch, 7 yards
Brandon Mitchell – 1 catch, 5 yards
Kiero Small – 1 catch, 3 yards
Rohan Gaines 11, Bryan Jones 8, Braylon Mitchell 7, Kiero Small 6, Terrell Williams 5, A.J. Turner 5
TACKLES FOR LOSS
Trey Fowers 2 (-14), Jared Green 2 (-6), Alfred Davis 1 (-2), A.J. Turner 1 (-2), Price Holmes 1 (-2), Braylon Mitchell 1 (-1), Dakota Baggett 1 (-1)
Trey Flowers 2 (-14), Jared Green 1 (-5).
Dakota Baggett, Jerry Mitchell
Tevin Mitchel 2; Chris Smith, Alan Turner, D.D. Jones, Kaelon Kelleybrew, Will Hines, Dakota Baggett 1