Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy, Biletnikoff Award and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt was awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2000 and 2015.
Marshall closes it with bang
Arkansas running back Korliss Marshall runs for a touchdown during the Razorbacks' Red-White Game on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at Razorback Stadium.
FAYETTEVILLE -- Tailback Korliss Marshall put a nice birthday bow on Arkansas' second scrimmage of fall camp Saturday before an estimated crowd of 3,500 at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Marshall, who turned 20 Saturday, took a handoff from Austin Allen and went untouched over right tackle for a 57-yard touchdown on the last snap of the 107-play scrimmage.
"I was kind of hoping to get Austin a few more reps there with the ones at the end, but Korliss broke away," Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema said. "It was funny, I was in the huddle and Korliss is yelling, 'Let's run this thing all the way down the field.'
"I think he meant four or five plays. I don't think he meant out of the gate, but that's what he can do. He's a very explosive player."
Marshall, a sophomore from Osceola, had 8 carries for 102 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also had a 7-yard scoring run and caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Allen in red zone work.
"I hope he understands how special he is," Bielema said, "because he really has been given some things that are not normal in this world."
Sophomore Alex Collins, who missed last week's scrimmage because of a hip injury, rushed 9 times for 63 yards and scored a 2-yard touchdown in red zone work.
Collins is playing at 218 pounds -- up from 204 last season -- after a summer of working out with strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert.
"Alex has a lot of very, very gifted genes, but now he's been in Herb's weight room and he understands the dynamic that he can add," Bielema said. "If I can get him to go to bed at a reasonable hour and stop tweeting at 4 a.m. and eating three square meals, the sky's the limit for that kid."
Marshall and Collins helped the Razorbacks' first-team offense score touchdowns on its two drives in open scrimmaging against the second-team defense after several segments of situational plays.
Brandon Allen threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jeremy Sprinkle to conclude an eight-play, 75-yard drive that include Marshall's 2 carries for 21 yards and Collins' 3 carries for 16 yards.
Allen, who completed 19 of 28 passes for 218 yards and 3 touchdowns, had an 11-yard touchdown pass to Cody Hollister on a five-play, 49-yard drive that included Collins rushing twice for 31 yards.
Sprinkle, a sophomore from White Hall, had three catches for 91 yards. Freshman Jojo Robinson had three catches for 54 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown pass from freshman Rafe Peavey.
The first-team defense had five sacks, including two for 13 yards in losses by end Tevin Beanum, a redshirt freshman from Forrest City. Beanum had five tackles to lead the defense along with safety Alan Turner and linebackers Josh Williams and Dwayne Eugene.
Bielema said the Razorbacks had the first-teamers going against the second-teamers rather than ones vs. ones because several players who had been backups were with the starters because of injuries.
"We had some guys playing with the ones that hadn't been in there all that much," he said. "I wanted to make sure there wasn't too big of a jump and kind of ease them into it."
Saturday marked two weeks into preseason practice and two weeks before the Razorbacks open Aug. 30 at defending SEC champion Auburn.
"I think we played clean football today for an hour and a half," Bielema said. "I think there's a lot of physical play out there. I think they're buying in to what we're saying."
Bielema said the Razorbacks aren't making the same mental mistakes they made in fall camp year ago.
"They're the right call, the right execution, the right key, the right reaction, and that's all between the ears," he said. "I think that's a very important step in the right direction."
Sports on 08/17/2014