Log in

Arkansas has successful scrimmage game


FAYETTEVILLE — Quarterback Taylen Green and running back Ja'Quinden Jackson helped the Red team out to a 32-0 lead at intermission before turning it over to the reserves who went on to take a 38-12 victory over the White squad.
Unofficially, Green completed 16 of 20 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson rushed nine times for 69 yards and two touchdowns then a 15-yard touchdown pass from Green. Sam Pittman liked what he saw from his starting quarterback who transferred in from Boise State.
"I think he had a really good day," Pittman said. "I thought we caught the ball really well, the group of guys that he was playing with. He made some great throws. We also made some really good catches out there. It was good to have Tyrone (Broden) back. Good to have (Andrew) Armstrong back. Those guys make us better. Obviously both of them had some injuries, family situations, but it was really good to have them back. I thought Taylen, and some of those runs could have been a lot further, but I thought he showed a lot of poise today. Obviously that he's a great leader and the kids playing around him believe in him."
Green opened the scoring with a 10-yard scoring strike to Broden with 9:18 remaining in the first quarter. Broden had a good day catching five passes for 60 yards and the touchdown.
With 2:30 remaining in the opening quarter, Green found Armstrong for a 24-yard touchdown. Armstrong caught three passes for 61 yards and a touchdown in the game.
"I feel like it was definitely efficient, but as (Bobby) Petrino said, ‘Definitely can get better,’" Green said. "He got on to me a couple of times on some reads, so he expects perfection out of me and whole offense. He was definitely, like, happy, but there’s definitely stuff to clean up. That’s what I like. On Drew’s play, I saw he had a go route and it was 1-on-1 and I liked the matchup. All I had to do was give him a chance and let him do the rest."
In the second quarter, Jackson rushed for two touchdowns. He scored on 8- and 4-yard runs. With just 1:06 remaining before halftime, Green hit Jackson for the 15-yard touchdown pass and catch.
"Two or three of his good runs I missed because I was talking to the television folks," Pittman said. "I heard the crowd, I know he got a, was it on a stretch play? Did he get outside on the north end zone on the visitors side? He's had a really good spring. He's a guy that's probably even better when it's live. He looks better because he bounces off people. He uses the stiff arm a little bit more. He's got a violent stiff arm. He always seems to be moving forward. When he gets hit hard, he grins and gets up. He's just a tough kid. He was a really good get out of the portal. He was a really good get. He brings a lot to the team, as well, off the field."
Jackson gave full endorsement to what Pittman said about the more physical it is the better he likes it.
"I hate thud practices, because the defense feels like they made the tackle," Jackson said. "Like, bro, no, that’s not what that is. It’s more to it than what you’re doing. Like I said, the scrimmages and games show it all. You think you can make that play in practice, but that same play shows up in a scrimmage, now you’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, OK.’ I had a great time today. It was fun."
Jackson, who doesn't lack in confidence, feels the 15-yard touchdown catch was just an example of what he can do in that aspect of Petrino's offense.
"I just feel like I’m underrated when it comes to the passing game," Jackson said. "Like, a lot of people feel like I’m not a great route runner or I can’t catch. I played quarterback. Quarterbacks have to catch the ball every play, so I don’t get that. That play, we had a corner blitz, I let him know that they were coming, he saw me, dished it off and I let my playmaking ability take over."
The starters didn't play the second half. In the third quarter, Braylen Russell raced 32 yards for the first White touchdown of the day. Unofficially, Russell rushed six times for 40 yards in the game with the one score. He's a freshman from Benton. The long run by Russell impressed Jackson.
"Braylen has come a long way," Jackson said. "Of course, he has his moments, because he’s a freshman. All freshmen learn, but I can tell that he’s starting to get it. His confidence level is starting to rise, and I told him, ‘once you figure it out, bro, you’re going to be an All-American’. He has the size. He has the speed. He says he can catch, but he hasn’t really shown me nothing yet. But yeah, I'm really impressed with him, and I can’t wait to see what he can do."
Walk-on running back Jezreel Bachert scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter to put the Red team up 38-6.
The White team finished up the scoring when quarterback Malachi Singleton found freshman wide receiver CJ Brown for a 75-yard touchdown. For the game, Singleton was 3 of 6 passing for 85 yards and the one touchdown. Brown, who is from Bentonville, had a big day. He caught five passes for 108 yards and the touchdown. Pittman loved what Brown did on the day.
"That was so neat to see," Pittman said. "Obviously he's from Bentonville, but it was really neat to see his speed when he caught the ball down the home sideline going south. He's really well-coached out of high school, but if you know his family, he's come from a mature, respected, respectful family. He came in here probably older than his age."
Defensive tackle Cameron Ball has been praised all spring for his work. But it was something else that had the 6-5, 319-pound Ball smiling on Saturday. As part of the winning Red team he gets a super big breakfast on Monday while the losing team had to settle for cereal.
"Man, when it goes to grits, sausage, eggs, biscuits," Ball said. "What else? Gravy, biscuits. I think I said biscuits again. Just anything but cereal.”
Saturday completed the 15 spring drills for Arkansas.