Thursday Grid Update, 8/11

In a Thursday night scrimmage that was marred by an injury to junior tailback Knile Davis, Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson, wideout Jarius Wright and freshman back Kody Walker were among some of the standouts.

It is akin to asking Mrs. Lincoln how she enjoyed the play.

So Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee, how did you think your team responded to the injury suffered by junior tailback Knile Davis that you don't want to talk about?

"I thought the first play after that Chris Gragg made a play on the sideline," McGee said. "…A couple of plays later Joe (Adams) may have caught one in the back of the end zone. I thought they responded well. We are a team that had a game out here against Ole Miss where we had to go in and out a couple of times."

Redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Wilson was the satr of completed 16 of 20 passes for 233 yards and 4 touchdowns with no picks.

"I think the last couple of days, we've had really good meetings the night before – really good, tough meetings," McGee said, "talking about what is important here and the direction that we need to go. I thought he really responded well the last couple of days. He seemed really in control yesterday at practice. He understood what was going on and really demanded what he needed from his players."

Wilson said he is starting to feel in a rhythm at quarterback after an adjustment with his feet.

"It's day eight or nine so it's good to kind of get back with your feet underneath you and completing balls," Wilson said. "We have emphasized the last couple of days getting my feet back underneath me. I have been a little bit spread out and throwing the ball low from different angles that I don't need to be throwing from. I have cleaned that up and my accuracy has gone up and my completion percentage has gone up."

The leading rusher during the scrimmage – the first time Arkansas tackled to the ground - was true freshman Kody Walker (6-3, 240), who had 16 carries for 66 yards – albeit against the second and third team defenses.

"I was really excited about Kody," McGee said. "He is a big, powerful runner. It is hard to tell how hard people run or how hard it is to tackle them until you go live. I was really impressed with the way he is big, he's nimble, he has really big hips so it is hard to bring him down. He really understood what to do. He didn't make many mental errors. I was really impressed with Kody Walker."

Junior tailbacks Dennis Johnson (12 carries, 33 yards) and Ronnie Wingo (6 carries, 30 yards) will get the bulk of carries with Davis lost.

"I thought they did a good job," McGee said. "We all know they are quality players. Dennis has made a lot of big runs for us, had huge games. Ronnie has continued to develop. I think he is at the point now where he is ready to step forward and make things happen."

McGee wants to watch the film before grading how the offensive line did.

"It's hard to tell," McGee said. "I need to watch film. They have got a lot of stuff going on in there.

"But I was impressed with the way our receivers kind of took charge, stepped up, layed out and made some plays that they shouldn't make," McGee added. "They are going to have to spread the field out. We have a lot of good players on the perimeter and they are going to have to keep everybody spread out, win in man coverage and make catches."

Jarius Wright led the wide receivers with 5 catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns while fellow senior Joe Adams had 5 catches for 50 yards and two scores as well.

Tight end Chris Gragg had 4 catches for 72 yards to lead the tight ends.

Players not scrimmaging were the injured Grant Cook, true freshman defensive lineman Lonnie Gosha and safety Tramain Thomas, who was replaced on the first unit by Eric Bennett.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Brandon Mitchell was 14 of 30 for 118 yards working behind a young offensive line with the second team.

"I think our second offense is a lot of true freshmen – in the offensive line – so this was their first live contact," McGee said. "It's tough out there for them. We got a lot of work to do. We have to go back to work in the meeting room in the morning and let them learn."

"…I do like them, they are really athletic," McGee said. "When you look at Brey Cook, Mitch Smothers, (Marcus) Danenhauer, Austin Beck and Grady Ollison – that's five true freshmen that are big, physical and athletic kids. I think the future is bright for sure."


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