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Hogs’ QB Wilson Unharmed In Car Accident

I’m starting to suspect that someone in the Arkansas football program picked up a taboo idol while vacationing in Hawaii last winter.  Since then, it’s been one bad thing after another for the Razorbacks — a coach getting himself fired, concussions, unexpected losses, blowout defeats, injuries.  You name it, it’s happened to the Hogs.

The latest worry?  Today quarterback Tyler Wilson was involved in a two-car collision on a Fayetteville interstate.  Thankfully Wilson escaped unhurt when his 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser was rear-ended by a 2006 Chevrolet Express.

He’s expected to practice today for Saturday’s home game with Kentucky.

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“Tyler Is Cleared To Go”

Arkansas coach John L. Smith says quarterback Tyler Wilson has been cleared to play Saturday.

“Good news this afternoon, Tyler is cleared to go,” Smith said Thursday. “That’s very exciting and we are thankful that he is. Our football team is excited about that. Now we need to go to the field and be accountable and execute.”

Arkansas hosts Rutgers Saturday.

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Hogs’ Wilson Talks About His Controversial Comments After Saturday’s Loss

Last Saturday, one-time Heisman-hopeful Tyler Wilson was forced to watch from the sideline as his Arkansas squad battled Alabama without him.  The concussed QB saw a 52-0 beatdown of his fellow Hogs and — from what he said afterward — he didn’t see quite as much battling as he would have liked.

After the contest, Wilson went so far as to say that Arkansas’ players “at times, gave up.”  Interim coach John L. Smith quickly moved past that remark and praised Wilson for taking on a leadership role within the team.  Even Arkansas AD Jeff Long praised Wilson’s desire to win on Twitter.  But still, the comments were a bit more controversial than what you normally expect a quarterback to say about his teammates.

For that reason, Wilson tried to explain yesterday what it was he was trying to say on Saturday:

 

“I was going into that room not to speak to the team, but to speak to the people because I’m an Arkansas kid.  I know how much it means to me growing up, to a lot of you guys in this room, to a lot of the fans in the stands to see that display out there on the field, the product we displayed.  And it’s tough.

And I wanted everybody to know that that is not acceptable here and going forward we are going to do the best we can.  I’m going to do the best I can to keep everybody together and display a much better product out there on the field.”

 

OK, but that really doesn’t change the fact that some Arkansas players were accused of quitting by Wilson after Saturday’s game.  Was it a case of a 20-something getting caught up in the emotion of the rout and saying something he’d later want to take back?  No doubt in my mind.

But the fact is, the signal-caller called out his teammates.  Now he says he’s going to “do the best I can to keep everybody together” following the Hogs’ 1-2 start.  And Smith yesterday said “I don’t listen to that crap” when asked about fan criticism.

Arkansas has the talent on offense to turn things around if Wilson can be kept upright.  But I’d foam the runways just in case.  This once high-flying program with stratospheric expectations appears to be nosediving following last weekend’s whooping.

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Alabama Blows Out Arkansas And Tyler Wilson Is Not Happy

Injured Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson didn’t play today in the 52-0 blowout loss to Alabama but let it be known after the game he wasn’t happy.

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Tyler Wilson “Game-Time Decision”? & Mizzou QB Rumors

Arkansas coach John L. Smith says quarterback Tyler Wilson will be a “game-time decision.”  However, ESPN is reporting that sources are telling them Wilson will not play. An Arkansas radio station is saying the same thing.

We’ll find out soon enough.  The Razorbacks host No. 1 Alabama Saturday.

Want some other quarterback rumors on a Friday afternoon?  Well, there’s this one about the QB situation at Mizzou.  It appears to have some legs – more here.

Behind the pay wall at PowerMizzou – Gabe DeArmond says James Franklin or Corbin Berkstresser may start – adding “at this point all I know is that I wont be shocked no matter who starts at QB unless it is Maty Mauk.”

Team spokesman offers no update.

Sidebar update: The Mizzou-Arizona State line has dropped to 3 points in some places.

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Louisiana-Monroe Stuns Arkansas In Overtime

Louisiana-Monroe 34 – Arkansas 31 (OT)

1. Louisiana-Monroe rallies from 28-7 deficit to shock the Razorbacks. Warhawks have 550 total yards of offense – Razorbacks 377.

2. Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson knocked out of game - suffers an “injury above the shoulders.” Reported concussion. Earlier reports of a broken collarbone called “inaccurate.”

3. “It isn’t out of the question that Wilson’s draft stock, not to mention Arkansas’ season, could very much be in peril.”

4. Most stunning loss to a nonconference opponent in more than 40 years.

5. Warhawks were 4-8 a year ago - record against SEC now 4-34.

6. Blame Bobby? “Nobody deserves more blame for what happened against the Warhawks than Petrino.”

Watch The Video Highlights

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Coaches Name Preseason All-SEC Team

The SEC’s coaches have named their preseason All-SEC squads and the schools with the most representatives shouldn’t surprise.  Alabama and LSU each had 11 players across the first-, second-, and third-teams with LSU placing a league-high seven players on the first unit.

You can read the full list here, but here’s a breakdown by school of who was represented:

 

  School   1st Team   2nd Team   3rd Team   TOTAL   Offense   Defense   Special Teams
  Alabama   4   4   3   11   6   5   0
  LSU   7   3   1   11   4   4   3
  Arkansas   4   3   2   9   6   1   2
  Florida   1   4   3   8   1   5   2
  Georgia   2   2   4   8   2   6   0
  S. Carolina   2   4   2   8   2   5   1
  Texas A&M   2   0   4   6   3   2   1
  Auburn   2   2   1   5   2   2   1
  Tennessee   1   2   2   5   3   2   0
  Miss. State   1   2   1   4   1   2   1
  Missouri   0   0   4   4   2   2   0
  Kentucky   1   1   0   2   2   0   0
  Ole Miss   0   0   2   2   0   1   1
  Vanderbilt   0   1   1   2   1   1   0

 

Observations:

* It’s a bit surprising to see Texas A&M with six selections and Missouri with four.  As we all know, most of these ballots are filled out by school’s sports information directors with a final once-over — occasionally — provided by the coaches.  Being newcomers, I expected fewer players from those schools to be listed since no one in the SEC has really seen much of them.  Someone went digging through some preseason magazines it seems.

* If not for placekicker Caleb Sturgis, Florida would have been without a first-team selection for the second-straight year… which speaks to the lack of star talent left for Will Muschamp by Urban Meyer.

* LSU had four first-team players on defense: Sam Montgomery (DL), Barkevious Mingo (DL), Tyrann Mathieu (DB) and Eric Reid (DB).

* You’re preseason All-SEC quarterbacks — according to the coaches — are Tyler Wilson of Arkansas (first team), Aaron Murray of Georgia (second team), and AJ McCarron of Alabama (third team).

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Hogs’ Smith Says SEC West Is His Toughest Challenge

Last week in Destin, Arkansas interim football coach John L. Smith got some national pub due to his love of adventurous challenges — running with the bulls in Pamplona, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, etc.

But Smith admitted that his toughest challenge yet will be winning the SEC West:

 

“The hardest one is coaching in the SEC Western Division, yeah.  The toughest division in the toughest league.  Not that I’m biased, but yeah, it’s pretty tough.  From that standpoint, we’re going to have to be good and we’re going to have to win some games… I expect to and our kids expect to, and those are going to be the expectations that we have had and that we’re going to continue to have.

It’s tough.  Every week is going to be tough, as you know.  The good thing this year is that we have Alabama at home and this year we have LSU at home… So that’s good for us.” 

 

Last season — facing both the Tide and the Tigers on the road — Arkansas was hammered 38-14 in Tuscaloosa and 41-17 in Baton Rouge.  Those were the only two blemishes on the Razorbacks record in Bobby Petrino’s final go-round with the Hogs.

The year before, the games were much closer when played in the Natural State (and with Ryan Mallett at quarterback).  Arkansas got nipped late by Alabama 24-20 and actually up-ended LSU 31-23 in their season finale in Little Rock.  This season, the LSU matchup will be played in Fayetteville, as will the Bama game.

The home field should help Smith and his Hogs’ cause.  So should the return of Knile Davis and Tyler Wilson.  The question will be whether or not new coordinator Paul Haynes can cook up a championship-caliber defense in his first season at Arkansas.  Doing so would go a long way toward closing the gap between the Razorbacks and their two national-title contending divisional rivals.

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Hog QB Wilson Says Golf Helps Him On The Gridiron

Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson figures to put some big numbers in Bobby Petri — wait — John L. Smith’s offense this fall.  Big enough numbers to be considered a Heisman candidate heading into the season.  In addition, some NFL insiders have said pro scouts would have loved for him to have come out of school a year early as part of this year’s draft class.

But while it’s football that will one day pay his bills (quite well, in all likelihood), it’s golf that Wilson credits for helping him with this gridiron game:

 

“I think that golf and football, it’s so funny how they correlate because you have to focus for every shot in golf.  You have to focus on every single play and if you have a little bit of lack of focus you might not be where you need to be.

So, that’s what’s awesome, I think, is that I can play a sport I enjoy and it correlates to football as well as coming out here and continuing to work on the things I need to work on, which is footwork and the continual knowledge of the game.”

 

No word on whether or not he enters the huddle muttering things like this to himself:

 

Caddy Shack Cinderella Story Bill Murray

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Hogs’ Long Draws Praise From QB Wilson; Shows That Ex-Coaches As A.D.s Can Still Make Sense

Since pulling the trigger on the Bobby Petrino dismissal two weeks ago, Arkansas AD Jeff Long has received support from the vast majority of the Razorback fanbase, from some cash-tossing big boosters, and now from members of the UA football team.

Because of Long’s willingness to talk with the team about the situation, quarterback Tyler Wilson has been singing the praises of his school’s AD:


“He acted like he was the man in charge, and he is.  I appreciate that from him.  He’s an athletic director, not a football coach, but he has been (a coach) in the past.  I think that’s great.  I’m proud of the leadership he’s displayed.  Absolutely.”


Wilson brings up an interesting point.  As athletic departments have evolved into multimillion dollar business entities, more and more of the men (and women) running those departments have come up through the sales, marketing or accounting ranks.  There are fewer and fewer ex-coaches at the tops of big-time athletic departments today because schools want proven business people overseeing what amounts to big business.  Hard to blame them.

But in situations like this with Petrino — scandals, coaching changes, etc — it’s probably good to have an ex-coach at the helm.  Long knows how to talk to a team.  He knows what the men (or women) in a locker room are looking for in terms of answers from him. 

Long has proven to be the best of both worlds for UA — an ex-coach (at Miami of Ohio, Rice, Duke, NC State and Michigan) and a seasoned administrator.  This seems to be especially true in terms of dealing with the current football team in the midst of this current upheaval.

Now if he can just find the right coach to finish what Petrino started.

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