Arkansas Two-Minute Drill: Red 65, White 0

by Chris Bahn  on Saturday, Apr. 21, 2012 7:04 pm  

Cobi Hamilton caught 11 passes for 156 yards to lead the Red team in receiving. Hamilton had no touchdowns, but helped the Red team post a 65-0 victory. (Photo by Mark Wagner)

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Arkansas Spring Game: Red 65, White 0

Why The Red Team Won
Did you glance at the rosters before kickoff? Arkansas coaches loaded the Red team with starters from the offense and defense, effectively ending the game before it began. Quarterback Tyler Wilson led the Red team to a 37-0 halftime lead in completing 75.6 percent of his passes. Red receiver Cobi Hamilton had 11 catches for 156 yards to lead all receivers and tight end Chris Gragg had 130 yards receiving and two touchdowns on nine catches. Red offensive possessions resulted in 698 yards of total offense. Arkansas’ first-team defense held the White squad scoreless and allowed only 126 yards of total offense.

Player Of The Game
No player had been more impressive throughout spring practice than Tyler Wilson. Nobody was more impressive in the spring game as Wilson completed 31 of 41 passes for 467 yards and two touchdowns. Red team drives led by Wilson resulted in touchdowns seven of nine times. Both touchdown passes went to tight end Chris Gragg, one going six yards and the other 60. It continued a masterful spring for Wilson, who totaled 101 of 1046 passing for 1,600 yards and 15 touchdowns with no interceptions in four scrimmages.

Filling The Void
Joe Adams, Jarius Wright and Greg Childs are off to the NFL after four years of making plays for the Razorbacks in the passing game. All three populate the Arkansas record books and figure to be hard to replace.

But receivers Marquel Wade and Cobi Hamilton and tight end Chris Gragg looked like capable replacements on Saturday.

Gragg caught nine passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Wade finished with six catches for 136 yards and a 15-yard touchdown. Hamilton didn’t have any scores (he actually dropped what looked like a sure touchdown), but did finish with 11 catches for 156 yards.

Getting A Taste
Knile Davis wound up not sustaining any contact for the spring. He didn’t totally miss the spring game experience, however.

Davis made an appearance on the first play of the scrimmage. He lined up in the backfield and went in motion, running for the sideline to ensure he avoided any contact.

Prior to the game he lobbied coaches for an opportunity to appear in the game for at least one play. He enjoyed a strong spring and looked good in non-contact opportunities, but coaches want to keep him healthy for 2012.

Davis, an All-SEC caliber back, missed all of 2011 after sustaining a fractured ankle in fall camp.

Running in his place with the first team were Ronnie Wingo Jr. and Dennis Johnson. Wingo ended the day with 88 yards on 14 carries with three touchdowns, while Johnson finished with 71 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.

Familiar Faces
Former Razorbacks have made attending the spring game a priority the last few years. That continued on Saturday as more than 20 former players were on hand for the Red-White game.

A number of notable alum included Ryan Mallett (New England Patriots), DJ Williams (Green Bay Packers) and Felix Jones (Dallas Cowboys).

Award Winners
Arkansas recognized the players who helped contribute to a big 2011 season with an award ceremony at halftime.

Among the notable awards: Dennis Johnson, comeback player of the year; Kiero Small, offensive coaches award; Byran Jones, defensive coaches award; Jason Peacock, offensive newcomer of the year; Alonzo Highsmith, defensive newcomer of the year; Jarius Wright, offensive player of the year; Jerry Franklin, defensive player of the year; Joe Adams, special teams player of the year; Dylan Breeding, scholar-athlete of the year; Tyler Wilson, team MVP.

Speaking Out
That was one thing I said was I’m going to come out here and play my best today because you look up in the stands and you see that support. It almost choked me up a little bit walking out there because I’m like, ‘These guys are still in it.’ I hope they know I am. I’m going to continue to give it my best. I’m so thankful for the support we have.”
—Tyler Wilson on an announced spring game record of 45,250 fans



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