Quarterback Tyler Wilson still had plenty of help with Dennis Johnson, Ronnie Wingo, Cobi Hamilton and Marquel Wade. It was a mismatch for most of the 90-minute scrimmage.
Head coach Bobby Petrino said it was typical of the three practices this week in full pads. The offense leads.
"It's our first week in full pads and we have a long ways to go," Petrino said after the Friday scrimmage. "There's a lot of things we need to get better at, but the offense is ahead of the defense right now. It's just the opposite of last year at this time."
Davis missed last season with a broken ankle sustained during two-a-days. He's done everything but scrimmage this spring. There was speculation the All-SEC running back would join in the contact Friday and it still may happen before the spring concludes -- or maybe not.
"It's going to be evaulated week by week," Petrino said. "We are going to look at how he does during the week and then we'll make a decision between the medical staff and the coaching staff. We talked about it and decided not to do it this week."
While the offense dazzled, there were a lot of eyes focused on the work Tenarius "Tank" Wright got at inside linebacker. Wright took all of the snaps with the first team and had a decent day with six tackles. Petrino said it was a physical battle most plays between Wright and tank-like Kiero Small, the fullback.
"I watched them a lot," Petrino said. "Tenarius was really physical. That was a great matchup that he and Kiero had. I watched him a lot in the run game. He did well. He seems to understand the run fits."
There were no injuries in the scrimmage, but cornerback Tevin Mitchel sat out because of a hamstring issue. Petrino said it was not serious.
Wilson picked on his replacement, freshman Davyon McKinney, on a 55-yard strike to Cobi Hamilton to finish off the first possession of the day -- against the first defense. Those two units sat out the next three possessions, then the defense got a stop when Wright broke up a Wilson pass on third-and-12. The defense got another stop on the next possession when Eric Bennett broke up a fourth-and-2 play.
The first offense was lights out the rest of the day, dominating the first defense. Wilson led the offense to six touchdowns in the next seven possessions. Johnson had touchdown runs of 15, 11 and 12 yards. Wilson had touchdown passes of 20 and 23 to Wade. Wingo had a 2-yard run for the other touchdown.
"We had a pretty good day," Wilson said. "I thought the first team did especially good. There were a couple of times that our pass protection broke down. I thought we had it called pretty good, but it broke down. But the offensive line did pretty well overall.
"I think some of what you saw was the defense still learning a new coordinator's calls and terminology. I think when you saw the bowl practices, Coach Haynes was using the terms that had been used. Now they are learning the new terms. They are learning stuff right now. That's why you see the offense ahead right now."
Wilson was 19 of 28 for 320 yards and four touchdowns. Brandon Allen (10 of 22 for 110 yards) took the first snaps with the second offense, but they were split the rest of the day with Brandon Mitchell (7of 13 97 yards, one TD and one interception). Brian Buehner (6 of 13 for 70 yards, one interception) worked with the third group.
Wilson said he feels like he's way ahead of where he was at this time last year, before he had started a season in the SEC.
"It's not real close," Wilson said, trying to contain a chuckle. "I think it's a lot different. I feel like I'm so much different now. It's just going out and competing now. I feel like I'm in charge and I'm way ahead of where I was then."
The Hogs still had plenty of running back depth with Davis on the sideline. Here are the numbers: Kody Walker - 17 attempts, 61 yards; Dennis Johnson - 13 attempts, 80 yards, 3 TDs; Ronnie Wingo - 12 attempts, 29 yards, TD; Jimmy Gross - 8 attempts, 29 yards, TD,; Brian Buehner - 4 attempts, 10 yards; Dylan Cruz - 3 attempts, 12 yards; Tyler Wilson - 3 attempts, minus-8 yards; Brandon Mitchell - 3 attempts, minus 11 yards; Keiro Small - 2 attempts, 17 yards; Brandon Allen - 1 attempt, minus-7 yards.
Here's the numbers for the receivers: Marquel Wade - 7 catches, 153 yards, 3 TDs; Ronnie Wingo - 5 catches, 66 yards; Cobi Hamilton - 4 catches, 91 yards, 2 TDs; Chris Gragg - 4 catches, 46 yards; Keante Minor - 3 catches, 39 yards; Maudrecus Humphrey - 3 catches, 33 yards; Demetrius Dean - 3 catches, 17 yards; Javontee Herndon - 2 catches, 37 yards; Julian Horton - 2 catches, 34 yards; Keiro Small - 2 catches, 17 yards; Austin Tate - 2 catches, 12 yards; Kody Walker - 1 catch, 23 yards; Price Holmes - 1 catch, 17 yards; Kane Whitehurst - 1 catch, 6 yards; Alex Voelzke - 1 catch, 6 yards; Dennis Johnson - 1 catch, 0 yards.
There were some interesting combinations in the offensive front. Petrino said not to read too much into any of that, or the rotations at linebacker. He said they could change daily.
But the offensive line had only on returning starter, center Travis Swanson. Brey Cook and David Hurd were at tackle, with Luke Charpentier and Tyler Deacon at guard. Alvin Bailey, two-year starter at guard, was with the second line. Mitch Smothers worked at center and guard, as did Charpentier.
The first group at linebacker included Wright in the middle, Jarrett Lake at the other inside backer. Matt Marshall and Ross Rasner also rotated in and out based on formation as linebackers with the first group. Eric Bennett and Jerry Mitchell were the first safeties.
"Lake did a nice job this week," Petrino said. "He's gotten bigger and faster. I like what I see with Marshall. He's experienced. He understands it better. He's always been a good tackler."
In the second team group, the standout might have been cornerback Kelvin Fisher. He had an interception and three pass breakups. Petrino had kind words and some joking for the freshman cornerback.
"He's a cheater," Petrino said. "He knows our calls because he was on offense last fall. He's got a better feel of what we are trying to do because of it.
"He understands what our receivers are trying to do, our concepts. You can see his instincts. He had a good scrimmage. He just needs to continue to work on his techniques."
Wade led the receivers with seven catches. Petrino said that's typical of what's happened this spring because he's working with the ones and twos at receiver.
"He did a nice job," Petrino said. "He had more opportunities because he's getting reps with both units. We just need to see him get better when the coaches are not out there. He just needs to continue to learn the offense. We see the talent he has after he catches it."