Watch for this on Saturday: A clearer No. 2 QB, lots of wrestling for back-up jobs elsewhere and a curious rotation at cornerback.
FAYETTEVILLE - Expect more differences from the week before Saturday when Arkansas has its second scrimmage of fall camp that afternoon inside Donald W. Reynolds Stadium.
The Razorbacks depth chart has taken a hit in recent days, stacking new injuries on old, nagging ones and leaving the roster full of holes. Some glaring, some not so bad. Either way, as the regular-season arrives two weeks out from the scrimmage, Bret Bielema is unlikely to press his team's luck any further than necessary.
As to what's left to expect, several positions are still in limbo, both when it comes to the starting job and the top back-up. Some of those spots will be less fluid than they were a week ago, but some will be more rotational as the coaching staff aims to settle on a lineup before Louisiana Tech visits September 3.
Here are three things to watch this Saturday.
1. A focus on reserves
Old hats, veterans, whatever you want to call them, they're camp'd out, so to speak. Deatrich Wise Jr., Brooks Ellis, Jeremy Sprinkle - older, established players need few more snaps to be ready for the season. They're close already. Figure on seeing cornerbacks Jared Collins and Henre' Toliver, and maybe even Kevin Richardson, on the sideline a lot with them Saturday. Those three are the headers of a unit that recently lost two of its top six from the rotation.
As Arkansas plays a three-cornerback set more often than not, an injury to either of those three players would be devastating to a group that two-year starter DJ Dean to a hamstring injury (questionable for Week 1) and top back-up Britto Tutt to an ACL tear (out for the season). Ryan Pulley, now the fourth cornerback, needs the reps as just a sophomore, so he is likely to see a good chunk of the scrimmage. Walk-on Byron Keaton and Cornelius Floyd, who played in just one game last year, will see a bulk of the duties as Bielema and defensive backs coach Paul Rhoads hope to keep the secondary healthy.
The same is likely to be true at linebacker, wide receiver and on the defensive line. Ellis and Dre Greenlaw, the two linebacker starters, will cede duties to players like freshman De'Jon Harris, Dwayne Eugene and Alexy Jean-Baptiste. Senior linemen Jeremiah Ledbetter and Taiwan Johnson will get early rests for players like freshmen McTelvin Agim, Austin Capps and redshirt freshman TJ Smith.
2. Timeshare at tailback.
Devwah Whaley showed last week he will probably be the team's leading rusher this season, barring injury, in his first year of college. Rawleigh Williams III should be right along next to him. But there's a rub.
Whaley is a freshman. Williams is a sophomore. Senior, sixth-year senior, Kody Walker remains limited by injury, too. The three of them combined are likely to see more than 80 percent of the carries this fall, so Bielema and the staff can't take a chance on further, more extensive injury. But the first two players are young. They could use more experience, even if it's only a scrimmage. Still, count on seeing more Duwop Mitchell, Juan Day and Connor McPherson than anyone else.
3. Seeking a clear-cut No. 2 QB
Bielema would prefer not to talk more about it. Offensive coordinator Dan Enos probably feels the same. And the adage is often true, especially with struggling teams: the back-up quarterback is the most popular player on the roster.
That doesn't completely hold water this season. Austin Allen has taken the reins as the starter and has plenty of eyeballs on him. Bielema did right by him naming Allen the starter early in spring camp and squashing any side conversations among media or fans or anyone else. Of course, now those conversations still exist, but only as it relates to his back-up.
Because, let's be clear here. Allen has only 19 pass attempts worth of experience in college football. He's the obvious choice as starter, but if he goes down hurt, what happens? Not a single one of his five back-ups on the 105-man roster have played a single down of college football. Jack Lindsey was just named to the roster earlier this week, even.
Finding a back-up for this team is paramount given the dearth of inexperience. Ty Storey (redshirt freshman) seemed to grab a tenuous hold on the job after last week's scrimmage. Rafe Peavey was the guy before that. Ricky Town has the high-school pedigree. Cole Kelley is the upstart. It could be any one of those four - Lindsey will take late duty, if any, Saturday. It's possible Bielema names the guy following the scrimmage, though as tight as the competition has been - they've been mum all week - the safe money is on the naming next week.
Follow Eric on Twitter: @ericwbolin