Arkansas Football Practice Reports – Teams Getting Better


Arkansas Football Practice Reports from Fayetteville, Jonesboro and Conway

Arkansas football practice reports razorbacks defense

FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas football practice reports from the fifth session of preseason camp on Friday highlights defensive coordinator Chris Ash, who met with the media after practice and gave his impressions of the team after the first five practices.

“We’re getting better,” Coach Ash said. “Right now the consistent challenge is being consistent. That’s what we have to do better as individuals and as a unit to get to where we want to be. We’ve got too many highs and lows right now. It might be from one player here, one player there. But, we win or lose as a unit, and we’ve got to be more consistent.”

The team will hold an open scrimmage on Saturday, starting at 3:50 p.m. inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Gate 1 will be the only entry into the stadium and will open at 3:30 p.m. All seating will be in the lower bowl on the west side of the stadium with exception of lower rows near the field due to stadium maintenance. Fans will not be permitted to take photos or video of practice, including with cell phones. Parking is available in all lots west of Razorback Road, as well as Lot 44 on the north side of the stadium. The Fred W. Smith Football Center is not open to the public at this time.

Coach Ash noted the format of the practice and addressed his expectations for the first scrimmage.

“It’s going to be a situational scrimmage,” Coach Ash said.  ”Mostly, right now, we’ve done first and second down. We’ve done third down. We’ve done some red zone. Today was the first time we’ve done red zone. So, we’ll scrimmage all the situations that we’ve had a chance to practice.

“The first thing that usually happens when you get to your first line of scrimmage situation…guys are so concerned about just going to hit people. We want to see guys who can go out there, they can still get lined up, they can still communicate, they can still execute the calls, plus they can go have that contact tackling. It’s going to be our first tackling opportunity, so I’m excited to see how we tackle.”

Arkansas football practice reports red wolves getting better

JONESBORO – Arkansas football practice reports from the Red Wolves, one day after conducting its first extended scrimmage this fall, highlighted the Arkansas State football team’s ninth practice Friday night at Liberty Bank Stadium during the Red Wolves’ “Youth Football Night.”

“Both sides did well last night, and we talked about that with the players today,” head coach Bryan Harsin said during a recap with the media about Thursday’s scrimmage.  “For a first scrimmage, we did some good things.  The offense scored a few touchdowns, and the defense locked down at times in the red zone and got some turnovers.  So both sides went out, gave a great effort and executed.  Now we just have to continue to get better involved with our schemes.”

The A-State coaching staff extended a special invitation to various youth football organizations to watch the Red Wolves in action tonight, and a large number of kids participating in various league’s around the region filled the stands to enjoy the “Friday Night Lights.”

“We were excited to welcome the kids, parents and coaches associated with these programs, and this was a great chance for us to show our support for youth football,” said Harsin.  “We recognize what a great value these organizations provide to the community and how important they are in the lives of young people.  Our coaches and players were certainly happy to have the interaction with them, and we hope they became a little more familiar with the Red Wolves too.”

The Red Wolves came out in shorts and shoulder pads, although the coaching staff surprised the players after the opening periods by letting them take off the pads for the remainder of practice.  The team went through numerous drills and team periods, focused on making adjustments in areas exposed by the scrimmage.

“Tonight was about coming out and correcting the mistakes from the scrimmage,” said Harsin.  “The follow-up practice to a scrimmage is always about cleaning up the mistakes.  We also wanted to see the energy tonight after a tough scrimmage yesterday and a lift and run earlier today.  It’s tought to be able to do that and have that same type of enthusiasm they did last night, but I thought they responded well.  I think that shows that you’re evolving, getting better through camp and the mentality is where you want it to be.”

The Red Wolves will hold three more practices this weekend, including two Saturday, as they continue their fall camp.

“Obviously, like everyone else in the country, we need to keep getting better,” Harsin said about the A-State’s upcoming practices.  “We’re getting to the final details of what we want to do with installation.  We’ll be going back and cleaning everything up, so we will be really focused on the details and schemes we want to run.  Also, for the coaches, the upcoming practices will also be about adjusting personnel to make sure we have everyone in the right spots to give us the best opportunities on game days.”

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CONWAY – The University of Central Arkansas Bears will hold their first scrimmage of fall camp at 4 p.m. Saturday at First Security Field at Estes Stadium, and head coach Clint Conque said the coaching staff will be looking for consistency.

“It’s going to be an important day to work and get better, but it’s also an important evaluation day,” Conque said. “We’re less than three weeks from getting started, and decisions have to be made within the next 10 days as we start to narrow this down a little bit. We want to see execution on both sides of the ball tomorrow. I felt like in Thursday’s practice, the offense did make some progress, and that was encouraging to see. Again, the name of the game in camp is execution and consistency from day to day.”

“We’d like to see wins on both sides of the ball tomorrow,” he said. “We would like to see overall consistency and effort by our players.”

The Bears, who finished 9-3 last season and are picked No. 6 in the nation in the FCS Coaches’ Preseason poll this year, will scrimmage beginning at 4 p.m. UCA, which had 12 players named to the preseason All-Southland Conference team, will be missing approximately 15 players for tomorrow’s scrimmage, according to Conque.

“I think the defense is playing with an awful lot of confidence,” Conque said. “We have a lot of veterans, lot of depth and a lot of competition. You look at just the linebacker position for instance, we feel like we have 7-8 guys there that can play winning football for us. There is really a great deal of competition going on from day to day within the depth chart. And we’ll need that depth. Just the overall defense is very opportunistic at this point, making plays and creating turnovers. They are playing very fast and very physical.”

Offensive competition is heated as well, particularly at wide receiver and running back. Conque said injuries, however, have hurt the consistency up front.

“We’re a little disjointed right now on the offensive line,” he said. “Hopefully over the next two or three days we can start building some consistency and continuity up there.  There’s quality competition at quarterback, at wide receiver and at running back.

“Running back is another key,” Conque said. “I like what Willie Matthews is doing. Blake Veasley is doing some positive things. Both of those guys are returners from the spring. And Danzel Williams, the transfer from Oklahoma, flashes some, but it’s just the little things, details, that we’re trying to get him cleaned up on.”

With all that being said, Conque is excited about the Bears’ first of three scrimmages.

“It’s a big day tomorrow, to go out and get our work in,” he said. “But also to gauge where we are, from a personnel standpoint, and where we really need to focus in the next week to solidify our football team. And a big aspect of that will be to stay healthy, and to get some of those guys back who won’t scrimmage tomorrow.”

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