No Clear Frontrunner

Tyler Wilson clearly had a better Saturday than Brandon Mitchell, but Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino said he is not ready to name a starting quarterback and wants to see how his signal callers work over the summer and into the fall.

If you bet that Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino would be ready to name a starting quarterback after the spring, you'll need to pay up.

Although redshirt junior Tyler Wilson clearly had a better Red-White game on Saturday than redshirt sophomore and chief competitor Brandon Mitchell, Petrino said he was looking at the whole photo album and not just a snapshot.

"There is no solidification," Petrino said. "We evaluate the entire spring. We are going to go into two-a-days and give them both an opportunity. I want to see them work over the summer, show leadership. They have a lot of responsibilities that they have to take care of over the summer."

Wilson completed 12-of-25 passing for 242 yards and three touchdowns, didn't throw a pick and didn't get sacked while leading his White team to a 45-14 thrashing for the Red.

"I think he (Wilson) has had a good spring," Petrino said. "The one thing Tyler really does is complete passes. There have even been days when I have come off the practice field mad at him, frustrated with him because of calling the play wrong in the huddle or not doing something in the run game. Then I look at his stats and he is 34-for-39."

"He can really throw the ball and complete passes, his understanding of the offense just keeps getting better and better," Petrino added. "I thought he was really poised and made good decisions out there. That was the goal for him, have poise, be comfortable and make good decisions with the football."

Wilson said the key for him is to complete passes early in drives.

"It goes back to completing them on first down," Wilson said. "If you can complete the balls on first down, that gives you a much better situation. I think I did a pretty good job of that today."

Wilson had things he felt good about in the scrimmage and also felt like he left a few plays on the field.

"Early on, I felt pretty good, but then I think I left some balls out there," Wilson said. "I don't know what the final numbers were, but I think I could have been better today. We found five executing touchdown drives and that was positive. I'm glad we came out with the win."

Wilson knows that he is going to get both praise and criticism from Petrino.

"He is always tough on me and that is just the way he coaches," Wilson said. "I think he has made me a better quarterback. He sees the three or four errors I made instead of the good ones."

While not named the starter, Wilson knows he needs to act like that.

"Definitely I take it as my team to push, work with and I will continue to compete," Wilson said. "I had a good spring, but there is so much more I have to do to get ready for the season. I realize that. I am looking forward to the summer, gaining some weight back physically and continuing to grind."

Mitchell was 11-of-29 for 85 yards with no scores 3 interceptions, but did rush for 42 yards.

"I think I had a pretty good spring," Mitchell said. "I think one of the things I improved on was knowing the offense. Today I just didn't make all the throws that I had been making…It is not how I wanted to end the spring."

Petrino was quick to point out that Saturday was a not a representative effort from Mitchell.

"I thought he (Mitchell) had a good spring," Petrino said. "I think he really improved in his knowledge of defenses and his ability to operate was very good in the spring.

"He did have trouble today," Petrino added. "He didn't get his footwork right and therefore he made some inaccurate throws."

Mitchell echoed Wilson's sentiments about the summer being key.

"It is going to be really important for both us," Mitchell said. "Not as far as competing against each other, but just trying to develop leadership overall at the quarterback position. It is not just me and Tyler, but (fellow quarterbacks) Jacoby (Walker), Brian Buehner and Brandon Allen coming in. We need to get him ready in case he needs to play. It's the SEC and you never know what will happen."

Wilson and the White team got a quick start when he threw a short pass to Jarius Wright, watched the wideout bounce off tackler Ryan Farr and race 57 yards for the score.

Wilson and Wright (4 catches, 145 yards) also connected on a 12-yard scoring toss and he hit Jevontee Herndon on an 8-yard TD pass.

"He was electrifying," Wilson said of Wright. "I got him the ball three or four times and he made plays."

Mitchell had a pass picked off by Darrell Smith, who returned it 44 yards for a score and quick 14-0 advantage.

He was also picked off twice by senior safety Tremain Thomas.

He did lay out safety Eric Bennett on one of his runs in the first time that the quarterbacks were live this spring.

"I kind of had it out for Eric," Mitchell said. "He said he was going to hit me when we were in the locker room so I kind of had it out for him."





Tyler Wilson





Brandon Mitchell


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