Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/19/12
Balance was the key word during Saturday’s final public preseason scrimmage for the Arkansas Razorbacks at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

Before the halftime break the high-powered Razorbacks' offense scored six touchdowns and their oft-maligned defensive counterparts continued strong play by stopping the offense on six other drives.

The Hogs' offense also achieved balance by running the ball effectively, especially when freshman Jonathan Williams and senior Ronnie Wingo took handoffs from All-SEC gunslinger Tyler Wilson and backup quarterback Brandon Allen.

The final outcome, as usual, was determined through the air. Wilson completed 60 percent of his passes and threw for over 250 yards and two touchdowns. Allen connected on just under 70 percent of his throws for 260 yards and four touchdowns.

The Razorbacks' offense achieved balance while operating without their top two running backs. Knile Davis is still being held out of contact in the public scrimmages as he eases back into the lineup after missing all of the 11-win 2011 season with an ankle injury. The Heisman candidate watched the action from behind the offensive huddle.

Last year’s leading rusher, Dennis Johnson, missed this scrimmage due to a death in his family. Johnson rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown last Saturday. He compiled 630 rushing yards and 255 receiving yards last season. The Razorbacks know what Johnson can do and what Davis, All-SEC with over 1,300 yards in 2010, can do when he stays healthy.

Saturday they were able to get a better look at Wingo, who is running with more forward lean and power, and freshman Williams, a 6-0, 205-pound tailback from Allen, Texas. Williams showed excellent vision, speed and power as he led all rushers with 115 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. He also caught a 16-yard touchdown pass. Wingo had 76 yards on 19 carries and caught four passes for another 35 yards.

Senior Cobi Hamilton asserted himself as the star of the receiving corps with 11 catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns, including a highlight reel effort where he broke at least two tackles and took a medium-range pass over the middle 65 yards to paydirt.

Freshman Mekale McKay used his 6-6 frame to haul in two passes for 76 yards. One was a well-executed 30-yarder from Allen. McKay also showed great athleticism when he tomahawk chopped a ball out of defensive back Jerry Mitchell’s hands. Mitchell had just intercepted a pass tipped by quarterback-turned-receiver Brandon Mitchell and was following a convoy down the right sidelines when McKay snuck in behind him, stripped him and had the ball bounce right into his hands for a fumble caused and fumble recovery on the same play.

Tyler Wilson also got in a strip. He misjudged a pass after rolling to his right, trying to hit fullback Morgan Linton running open about 10 yards downfield ahead of him. Defensive end Chris Smith tipped the ball and appeared to intercept it, but Wilson chopped it out of Smith’s hands in a very heads-up, bang-bang play. There was some controversy as to whether it was an incomplete pass or an interception and fumble.  Being that this was a scrimmage, no one got too upset when it was ruled incomplete.

Backup tight end Austin Tate, another big target at 6-6, showed he is ready for prime time by catching four passes for 65 yards. Tate made a spectacular diving catch at the right pylon on his 39-yard touchdown reception from Allen. Most teams have a “jumbo” package that comes in only in short-yardage situations. That package usually includes a 300-pound lineman lined up at fullback with the team’s biggest running back behind him.

Arkansas’ jumbo package may be very different but equally effective. Imagine opposing defensive backs trying to cover 6-3 Cobi Hamilton and Chris Gragg, 6-4 Brandon Mitchell, and 6-6 Tate and McKay on the same play. That’s a lot of tall, talented receivers coming at you at once!

Defensively, junior tackle Byran Jones had a solid scrimmage with eight tackles. Redshirt freshman safety Rohan Gaines led all tacklers with 11. Cornerbacks Tevin Mitchell and Kaelon Kellybrew played consistently well. At linebacker, the Hogs got solid play from sophomore Braylon Mitchell, senior Terrell Williams, and freshmen Otha Peters and A.J. Turner.

Starting inside linebackers, Alonzo Highsmith and Tenarius Wright, sat out another scrimmage while nursing minor injuries. Sophomore defensive end Trey Flowers led the team with two sacks. Senior Kiero Small had six tackles as a backup linebacker, ran for a six-yard touchdown on a quick-hitting dive play from fullback and also caught one pass for a three-yard gain.

The Razorbacks will now begin concentrating on Jacksonville State, their opponent in the season opener on September 1. The Gamecocks from the Ohio Valley Conference are coached by former Arkansas head coach Jack Crowe. The home game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. kickoff.

NOTE: Statistics for this article came from wholehogsports.com

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