The University of Central Arkansas Bears limped through their second scrimmage of the spring Saturday afternoon.
After the first- and second-team offenses produced quick, no-huddle drives for touchdowns on the first two possessions, things deteriorated quickiy.
UCA went through about 70 plays of the 96-play scrimmage with all freshmen or redshirt freshmen in the second-team offensive line.
Nine starters and five backups were held out of the scrimmage, primarily with what Clint Conque termed "camp" or soft tissue injuries. Several others saw limited action. By the second series, UCA had lost two more offensive line starters, Dominque Allen to a head injury and Corey Howard to dehydration.
"Should have stopped after four series," Conque said. "We had some nice execution early, then we had to start mixing and matching on both offense and defense and play deteriorated.
"But there was value gained from young kids who are going be be redshirted or who are not physically mature enough to play right now to get to play a lot of snaps. It was probably an eye-opener for our true freshman and redshirt freshmen. But it will pay dividends down the line."
The Bears had five passing touchdowns: Wynrick Smothers to Jackie Hinton and Dominque Croom and Ryan Howard to Al Lasker, Clay Murphy and Blake Gardner. Anthony Blackmon scored a rushing touchdown.
"We started out with drives with the first- and second-teams that were true drives," Conque said. "We took the ball up and down the field and didn’t live or die with big plays. And we overcame some adversity and penalties.
"Wynrick was sharp with the exception of about four plays — throwing into coverage once and missing two or three reads. Ryan Howard was sharp. One of the biggest things to come out of the scrimmage is Howard showed he can play for us."
Jacoby Walker was not effective in his work with the second team.
"That’s probably not fair to put a lot of this on Jacoby," Conque said. "By the time he got into the scrimmage, he was playing behind some yuoung players and a pretty dysfunctional group."
He said linebacker Justin Heard continue his "fantastic" camp performance. Defensive ends Devon Hawkins and Jeremy Jester also stood out.
"All our backs ran well, but I was particularly pleased with Willie Matthews," Conque said. "There wasn’t many gaps for him, but he put his pads down, created space and played physical.
"We’re ready to play at running back and wide receiver and quarterback. We have the right combination in the offensive line; we just can’t keep them on the field."
The o-line only surrendered four sacks, an improvement over last week.
Eddie Carmara made all his placekicks out of the hold of Howard, who was substituting for Seth Allison, who was held out of the scrimmage. "For Ryan to come in and hold on successful kicks was one of those small victories that don’t show up in a scorebook," Conque said.
"I was totally disgusted with the number of penalties and I’ll have to evaluate the tape ot see what happened," Conque said. "Most of them occurred with younger players but there were three or four with veteran starters. We are not talented enough on either side to overcome self-inflicted negative plays."
UCA will scrimmage again Wednesday night with the freshmen and newcomer plays getting most of the work.