UA Two-Minute Drill: Johnson's Return Unlikely For 2010

by Chris Bahn  on Wednesday, Sep. 29, 2010 10:30 pm  

Dennis Johnson’s return for Arkansas is doubtful this season. Johnson, a junior running back, has been unavailable since undergoing surgery for what has been described as a bowel injury suffered Sept. 11. Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino said after discussing Johnson’s status with medical officials a return does not seem likely. (Photo by Mark Wagner)

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

FAYETTEVILLE — Dennis Johnson’s return for Arkansas is doubtful this season.

Johnson, a junior running back, has been unavailable since undergoing surgery for what has been described as a bowel injury suffered Sept. 11. Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino said after discussing Johnson’s status with medical officials a return does not seem likely.

Initial prognosis was “4-6 weeks”, but rushing Johnson back could lead to a hernia. Petrino said there was no reason to rush Johnson back.

“It’s kind of a week-by-week situation now,” Petrino said. “I’m not optimistic about him returning. I’ll just put it that way.”

Arkansas could use Johnson in the running game. Currently, the Razorbacks rank just 104 nationally in rushing. Johnson was a big-play threat and was averaging 9.2 yards per carry

Johnson’s absence is also felt in on kick returns. He is the school record holder with 2,014 return yards.

Freshman Maudrecus Humphrey has been filling in. Petrino said Wednesday he has not been pleased with Humphrey. Cobi Hamilton and Lance Ray have been getting additional reps as kick returners. Humprhey is averaging 18.5 yards per return.

“We’ve got to get where we’re hitting it full speed and reckless,” Petrino said.

Racking Up
Getting to the quarterback has proven to be a strength of the Arkansas defense. Through four games the Razorbacks have 15 sacs, including nine in two SEC games.

Credit improved technique. Additional depth on the defensive line also plays a role. Tight defense by the secondary has also led to some “coverage sacks” where the opposing quarterback couldn’t find an open receiver and held onto the ball too long.

“We’re getting more aggressive,” defensive end Damario Ambrose said. “More than that, we’ve got a lot of good players. … We’ve got good depth. It’s easy to roll guys in and get a better pass rush.”

Head Start
Arkansas is technically off this week because there’s no game on Saturday. It’s not until Oct. 9 that the Razorbacks play Texas A&M.

Still, the team is preparing for the Aggies already. And they’ll get a chance to watch Texas A&M in action Thursday night against Oklahoma State.

“I’m pretty sure the whole team will be watching that,” safety Rudell Crim said. “I’m pretty sure. I know that for a fact.”

Speaking Out
“The whole idea that we want our kids to understand is play every play like it’s your last play. Don’t worry about numbers.”
—Defensive line coach Bobby Allen on the team’s defensive improvement

 

 

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