3-And-Out: Razorbacks Maintain Focus; Allen, Mitchell Could Get First-Team Reps

by Chris Bahn  on Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2012 8:33 am  

Back-up quarterback Brandon Mitchell could see a series or more of first-team work in Saturday's Red-White game. (Photo by Mark Wagner)

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

News and notes from Tuesday’s Arkansas football media availability ...

I. Good Focus
Distractions have been plentiful for Arkansas football players the last two weeks. Each day seemed to bring a new bit of news or rumor in the lead-up to and aftermath of Bobby Petrino’s firing.

Still, players have maintained their focus in practice. Offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said time on the field has been maximized by players who are looking to get away from being bombarded by conversation about the former coach.

“I think sometimes when you have different things going on in your life and you’re an athlete or a coach, the nicest thing is to go out on that practice field,” Petrino said. “To be honest with you, sometimes the days you don’t practice are harder than the days you practice, when you have to sit around and think about it.”

Receiver Cobi Hamilton said the team’s leadership from within has kept the players from getting distracted. Coaches have also been a help in how they have handled a difficult situation, Hamilton said.

“They help us surround, keep us together and keep us fighting forward,” Hamilton said. “They always say, it’s hard to put into words, ‘Just come to work every day and practice and it’s all about football.’ At the end of the day, that’s what we do. We play for the Arkansas Razorbacks and like I say, you have to take that to heart when you take the field every day."

II. QB Shakeup
Tyler Wilson is entrenched as the Arkansas starter. Barring injury he’ll remain there through the 2012 season.

Don’t be surprised, though, to see other quarterbacks getting first-team work in Saturday’s Red-White scrimmage. Brandon Mitchell and Brandon Allen have split time with the second and third teams, but should get a look with the first-team offense.

“I think in the second half it’d be good to get both of them a series with the ones,” Petrino said. “At least one series, if not more."

III. Injury Update   
Tight end Austin Tate is doubtful for the Red-White game.

Tate was injured in a scrimmage Friday and left the field in a cart. No word on the extent of his injury, but Petrino said Tate did not dress for practice Tuesday.

Hamilton was back at practice Tuesday after leaving Friday’s scrimmage. He said he “got a little dizzy,” but was OK.

“It was precaution really,” Hamilton said. “Nothing serious.”

Speaking Out
"We’re the ones putting in the work. We’re the ones that have to go out there and perform when the lights come on. That’s what we go out there and work for.”
—Tight end Chris Gragg on the team playing without former coach Bobby Petrino, who was fired April 10



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