Razorback Spring Football – What They’re Saying


Razorback spring football is officially done, marked by the climax of a the Red-White game Saturday. We’ve all had some time to digest what we saw, heard or have been told about the glorified scrimmage, so we thought we would take a look around the country and see what others have to say about the 2015 Hogs, at this point.

The Arkansas Razorback spring Red squad was victorious over the White team, 61-18. Complete stats of the game are available here.

Senior fullback Kody Walker led the Red team’s offensive production on the ground, tallying 174 rushing yards on 26 carries for three touchdowns. The highlight of Walker’s output came in the third quarter when the Jefferson City, Missouri native busted for a 44-yard march into the end zone.

Senior wide receiver Keon Hatcher had the highlight-reel score of the day.  In the second quarter, senior quarterback Brandon Allen found Hatcher, who hauled in the pass 65 yards for a score. On the day, Hatcher posted 91 yards receiving and tallied two scores.

Allen was proficient at the helm of the Red offense, going 17-of-21 for 230 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Austin Allen went eight-of-12 for 57 yards.

Rounding out the remainder of the scores was sophomore fullback Chris Jones and junior tight end Jeremy Sprinkle with a score a piece.

Redshirt-freshman linebacker Josh Harris led the defense, logging an impressive 14 tackles on the day. Junior defensive lineman JaMichael Winston recorded 3.0 sacks for a loss of 13 yards on the red squad and sophomore defensive lineman Karl Roesler posted 2.0 sacks for a loss of 13 yards on white.

At the completion of the first quarter, the Razorbacks took to the first of two field goal shoot outs where Adam McFain represented the red team and Lane Saling for the white. McFain and Saling completed the shootout after both knocked-through 43-yarders. In round two, the duo both ended their competition with 42-yard field goals each.

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Sam Khan, writing for ESPN.come wrote:

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — On a sunny, clear, perfect day for football, Arkansas closed out spring drills with its annual Red-White spring game, a 62-18 Red victory on Saturday at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Here are a few things we learned from the action:

… The Razorbacks have even more running back depth:Arkansas boasted two 1,000-yard rushers last season, the only team in the country to accomplish that feat in 2014, but Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams were both held out of the spring game on Saturday. That gave an opportunity to senior running back/fullback Kody Walker. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Walker took advantage, exploding for 174 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. He showed some solid agility for his size and looks like a player who could potentially be a quality third option behind the Hogs’ dynamic duo.

… If Saturday is at least a small glimpse of things to come, [Brandon] Allen should be able to improve on his 56-percent completion rate from last season and that bodes well for the Hogs’ offense.

… Tight ends will be heavily involved: This position already has a prominent role in the Arkansas offense but it might grow even more prominent under new offensive coordinator Dan Enos. The two leading pass-catchers for Red were tight ends (Jeremy Sprinkle and Hunter Henry) who each had four receptions. Henry seems poised for a big season and Sprinkle is looking to step into the role AJ Derby played in last year and contribute plenty.

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Mike Herndon from AL.com says:

Brandon Allen and Kody Walker put up big numbers at Arkansas’ Red-White spring game on Saturday as the Red team, comprised mostly of starters, rolled 62-18 over the White.

Allen, who is entering his third year as the Razorbacks’ starting quarterback, completed 17 of 21 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half — including a 65-yard strike to Keon Hatcher. The 250-pound Walker, part of a potent backfield that also includes Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams, ran for 174 yards and three scores on 26 carries.

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George Schroeder from USA Today wrote:

… For the Razorbacks, coming off a late-season breakthrough they hope translates into more success next fall, the comparison is both encouraging and frustrating.

“We were so close,” senior receiver Keon Hatcher says. “We felt like we were close to the top — we just weren’t mature enough to make it happen.”

At least, not until last November, when they shut out LSU and Ole Miss in consecutive games, then finished with an emphatic rout of old rival Texas in the Texas Bowl. Coming after several earlier near-misses (including that 14-13 loss to Alabama) in which the Hogs competed with highly ranked opponents until the final gun, the fast finish has them dreaming big about next fall.

How close are they now? Has the program matured enough to climb out of the cellar and into contention in college football’s most rugged division?

“The goal this year,” says senior left guard Sebastian Tretola, “is to win it.”

He’s referring to winning the SEC West, which lately has extrapolated to winning the SEC championship, and would almost certainly mean earning a berth in the playoff. If that seems like too lofty a goal for a program that has now won a total of two SEC games in the two seasons since Bret Bielema’s arrival, it probably is. But consider this:

Attempting to describe the parity, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said last week that each team in the West believes it will win the division — and has legitimate reason for that hope. That kind of optimistic outlook is also nearly universal during springtime. Football teams are always either building off momentum from a fast finish or putting off bad memories to get a fresh start. Arkansas would fit the former category.

Where do you predict the 2015 Razorbacks finishing in the SEC West?

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Bielema says they took “baby steps” last season, learning to win at home.

“Our last two games at home, we beat two ranked teams,” he says. “Not only beat ’em, we beat ’em like yard dogs, shut ’em out. We won effectively by defending our home turf.” …

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And if you missed it, here is the Razorback spring football game in its entirety:


Razorback spring football 2015


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