Hogs: Bielema blown away" by record crowd; excited by team's progress"
FAYETTEVILLE - The University of Arkansas Red defeated the White 34-27 Saturday at its annual spring game in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
A crowd of 51,088 watched the game, marking a record attendance for the third straight year and besting last year's record of 45,250.
The Arkansas offense finished the game with 540 total yards, recording 27 first downs en route to three offensive touchdowns. Brandon Allen and Brandon Mitchell split the majority of snaps at the quarterback position. Allen finished 11-of-16 for 158 yards and one TD, while Mitchell was 12-of-17 for 138 yards and one TD.
On the ground, Patrick Arinze was the leading rusher with nine carries for 66 yards. Javontee Herndon caught six passes for 85 yards, while Demetrius Wilson had four catches for 70 yards and a touchdown and Keon Hatcher had five catches for 60 yards. D'Arthur Cowan and Jeremy Sprinkle also recorded touchdown grabs for the Red Team.
"I was blown away to see over 51,000 fans support us today," Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said. "It's a steady process. I like the progress we've made. The team responded very positively, with success on both sides of the ball. We're in a great position and that gets me very excited."
The Red Team got on the board with an early field goal. Mitchell led a 60-yard drive in eight plays that resulted in John Henson booting a 48 yard field goal.
On the next drive, Allen led the Razorbacks down the field for the first touchdown of the spring game. Allen drove the squad 75 yards and found Wilson in the corner of the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown pass and a 10-0 lead for the Red Team.
The teams engaged in a field goal competition at the end of the first quarter. Zack Hocker was 3-of-3, hitting from 27, 37, and 52 yards. With Henson also kicking a 22 yarder, the kickers recorded a total of 12 points for the White Team and gave White a 12-10 lead going in to the second quarter.
Late in the second quarter, Mitchell led a 90-yard touchdown drive to put the Red Team back on top. Mitchell found a diving Sprinkle in the end zone for a 26-yard reception and Red took a 17-12 lead. Before the half, Arkansas also added a late 55-yard drive, as Hocker kicked a 37-yard field goal, and the Red Team took a 20-12 lead into the locker room.
At halftime, former Razorbacks Jerry Franklin, Ryan Mallett, and Mitch Petrus were recognized on the field. Additionally, all of the 2012 senior Razorbacks were acknowledged as well.
In the second half, the Red Team put together a 55-yard touchdown drive to add to their lead. Nate Holmes got the first rushing touchdown of the day with an 18-yard scamper to the left side to give the Red Team a 27-12 lead.
In the third quarter kicking competition, the White Team added 15 more points on five field goals. Hocker went 3-of-4, making field goals from 27, 37, and 49 yards. Henson went 2-of-3, booting field goals from 22 and 32 yards, and the fourth quarter began with the score tied at 27-27.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Red Team regained the lead with a touchdown pass. A.J. Derby found Cowan down the left sideline, and the touchdown reception put Red ahead 34-27 for the game-winning score. The lead would hold, and the Red Team finished the game as the victors.
Defensively, both Tiquention Coleman and Will Hines had interceptions for the White Team. Coleman was the leading tackler as well, tying Ray Buchanan Jr. with nine stops. Taiwain Johnson had two sacks, while Trey Flowers, Deatrich Wise and Brandon Lewis all had one sack apiece.
Arkansas kicks off the 2013 season August 31 by hosting UL-Lafayette in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium