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Childs Hurt; What Was Petrino Thinking?

Going into Saturday’s game with Vanderbilt, we here at MrSEC beat the drum that Bobby Petrino should rest banged up stars Ryan Mallett and Greg Childs if he got the chance.

Well, he got the chance, but he didn’t take advantage.  And now folks in The Natural State are holding their breath over a new injury to Mallett’s favorite receiver.

Childs injured his leg trying to make a catch early in the fourth quarter of what became a 49-14 Arkansas win.  Teammates had to help him to the sideline.

So why was Childs — who had a sore ankle to begin with — still in the game when it was well under control?  Perhaps to aid Mallett set a new school record with 409 yards passing.  Or maybe Petrino just like to go for the jugular.

Whatever the reason, Petrino should get some serious second-guessing for his decision to play his top quarterback and top receiver — who were already banged-up — into the fourth quarter of a blowout against Vanderbilt.

Childs leads Arkansas with 46 catches for 659 yards and 6 touchdowns on the season.

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No Update on Childs

Arkansas
Content provided by The Slophouse.

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said he had no update on injured receiver Greg Childs following Saturday’s 49-14 win over Vanderbilt.

Childs was injured early in the fourth quarter on a 17-yard reception to the Commodores 2. The junior receiver, who injured his ankle last week, immediately pounded his hands on the ground in anguish and was eventually helped off the field by a pair of trainers, before being taken straight to the locker room. According to Arkansas’ radio broadcast, he suffered an injured knee.

Childs had five catches for 87 yards prior to the injury. He is Arkansas’ leader in receptions (46), yards (659) and touchdowns (6) this season.

“I’m always concerned when I see Greg go down like that,” running back Knile Davis said. “He’s always in an awkward position because he’s real greedy and wants to get into the endzone. You’ve got to have that attitude when you get the ball.”

Davis scored on the next play to give the Razorbacks a 42-14 lead. Senior tight end D.J. Williams said there was no talk of taking the starters out when the fourth quarter began, despite leading by 21 points.

“That’s just one of those decisions you know before you go out there for a drive,” said Williams, who noted the drive began in the third quarter. “That’s just how it was.”

Arkansas has been battling injuries at receiver. Joe Adams missed Saturday’s contest with an ankle injury suffered in last week’s win over Ole Miss.

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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You Pick ‘Em: Arkansas-Vanderbilt

Arkansas
Content provided by The Slophouse.

Next up for No. 19 Arkansas is a home game against Vanderbilt. The Razorbacks are 3-1 all-time against the Commodores with the only loss coming in Vandy’s only trip to Fayetteville in 2005. If Arkansas can avoid that fate this time around it will be bowl eligible for the second consecutive season.

We want to hear from you. Be sure to post your thoughts and predictions below.

Slophouse Pick

Arkansas has found out a lot about itself the last two weeks. Not only have the Razorbacks figured out they have a pretty good back-up quarterback in Tyler Wilson, they’ve also found their running back in Knile Davis. The sophomore rushed for 176 yards and 3 touchdowns a week ago. He’ll likely be called upon again quite a bit this week with Joe Adams out and Greg Childs likely limited in the passing game because of an injury.

Not all answers found have been good, however. What was lauded as an improved defense has faltered in recent weeks. Inconsistency and poor tackling have been the main concerns for Willy Robinson’s unit. After giving up 65 points in a loss at Auburn, the Hogs held Ole Miss to 24 points, but still gave up more than 500 yards. Vandy quarterback Larry Smith will present another mobile challenge for the group, though he isn’t quite the caliber of Jeremiah Masoli last week or Cam Newton the week before.

But for all of Arkansas’ question marks on the defensive side, Vanderbilt has just as many – if not more – on its offense. The Commodores switched offensive coordinators earlier this week after recording only three first downs after halftime of last week’s loss to South Carolina. Arkansas scores points with the best of them. If Vanderbilt has any trouble with continuity on its end, it will be a happy homecoming for the Razorbacks.

Arkansas 45, Vanderbilt 24

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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Mallett And Childs Will Play But Adams Is Out For Arkansas

Ryan Mallett and Greg Childs look to be good to go when Vanderbilt visits Arkansas tomorrow.  Last weekend against Ole Miss, Mallett bruised his throwing shoulder and Childs tweaked his ankle.

Also injuring his ankle in that game was receiver Joe Adams (photo at left)… and Adams will not be in uniform for the Hogs on Saturday.

In addition to being second on the team in catches, yards and touchdowns, Adams is also a key performer on Arkansas’ special teams units.  He scampered for a 97-yard touchdown on a punt return against the Rebels.

As we noted yesterday, it would probably be wise for Bobby Petrino to go for the jugular ASAP against Vandy.  The more time Mallett and Childs can spend on the sidelines with Adams, the more likely they are to be fully healthy for the Razorbacks’ stretch drive.

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Petrino Should Rest His Stars Versus Vandy

Entering the week, the three most important pieces of Arkansas’ passing game — not counting the O-line, of course — were banged up.

Quarterback Ryan Mallett (bruised throwing shoulder) returned to practice first.  Yesterday, receiver Greg Childs (ankle) returned.  But fellow receiver Joe Adams (ankle) was still out of action at yesterday’s practice.

Bobby Petrino said during the SEC teleconference yesterday that Childs is more likely to play this weekend against Vanderbilt than Adams.  But I would suggest Petrino take a look at how Steve Spurrier handled his injured star last week when his Gamecocks faced the Commodores.

Carolina could have used tailback Marcus Lattimore in Nashville.  He wouldn’t have been 100%, but he was well enough to have played.  Instead, rolling the dice that the Cocks could subdue Vandy without their best player, Spurrier rested him.  Now Lattimore says he’s fully healthy and ready for the Gamecocks’ stretch run.

Vanderbilt’s defense isn’t terrible.  If it received any support at all from VU’s offense, the Commodore D might actually be decent.  But it doesn’t get help from the offense.  And that’s why Vandy has lost by a combined score of 64-7 the last two weekends.

Petrino knows the health of his players better than the fans or media.  But it might be wise for the coach to give his banged-up stars as much rest as possible this week.

Sitting three players is more of a challenge than sitting one.  So we’re not suggesting that Petrino start backups in place of Mallett, Childs and Adams.  But if he’s smart, Petrino will go for Vandy’s throat early, try to build a lead, and then turn the game over to his second-teamers.

The Razorbacks still have SEC games remaining at South Carolina, at Mississippi State and at home against LSU.  Better to be without their stars against a struggling Vandy squad… than against those stronger foes waiting just ahead on the Arkansas schedule.

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Mallett Back At Practice; Two Receivers Not

Ryan Mallett was back at practice for Arkansas yesterday.  The quarterback said he’s “100 percent” and fully recovered from a bruised right shoulder he suffered against Ole Miss last weekend.

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that two of his favorite receivers were not on the practice field.

Joe Adams and Greg Childs were both out with ankle injuries.  The two have accounted for 1,116 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns this season.

“We didn’t see them,” Mallett told The Arkansas News.  “But we had guys that stepped in and made plays.  That’s what our offense is about.”

The Razorbacks will host Vanderbilt on Saturday night.

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