Comprising the roster for the Red team, the Razorbacks' first-team offense and defense routed their understudies 65-0 in front of an announced crowd of 45,250 for the annual spring game at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Tyler Wilson completed 31 of 41 passes for 467 yards and two touchdowns, and led the Red team to seven scoring drives in nine possessions.
"One thing I wanted to do was come out here and play my best when I looked up into the stands and saw that support," Wilson said. "It almost choked me up a little bit walking up there because I was like, 'These guys are still in it,' and I hope they know that I am. I'm going to continue to give my best and I'm so thankful for the support we have."
In a spring dominated by off-field headlines, it was the near-perfect cap to a near-perfect month on the field for the redshirt senior quarterback. In four open scrimmages, Wilson completed 111 of 145 passes for 1,589 yards and 15 touchdowns.
The Greenwood native didn't throw an interception and led 27 scoring drives in 39 possessions.
"It's as good of a spring as I've been around and we just have to keep it going," offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said. "You almost wish you could start the season tomorrow because he's playing in that zone and I wish we could just keep playing and keep it going.
"His confidence is really high right now and it's our job to keep it there. If he has that little swagger and that confidence that he has right now, he's going to be a hard quarterback to stop."
Wilson had first quarter touchdown passes of 6 and 60 yards to tight end Chris Gragg, who finished with nine receptions for 130 yards.
Gragg wasn't Wilson's only target, however. Cobi Hamilton finished the scrimmage with 11 catches for 156 yards, and Marquel Wade caught six passes for 136 yards and a 15-yard touchdown from Brandon Mitchell in the fourth quarter.
Hamilton and Wade finished the spring as Arkansas' top two receivers, offering a glimpse of who will step up to fill the shoes of three four-year starters at the position.
"I thought they both played really well, but there are things they can improve on," Petrino said. "There's footwork, there's using their hands and getting out of their breaks, but those are two guys - and Chris Gragg - that if they play at the top of their game and believe nobody can cover them, that will really make us harder to defend."
The Red squad led 37-0 at halftime and scored four more times during the second half with a running clock.
Wilson led the team on one touchdown drive before calling it an afternoon early in the third quarter. Mitchell and Brandon Allen, who spent the first half with the White team, combined to lead the other three scoring drives.
Mitchell finished the game completing 11 of 17 passes for 102 yards and one touchdown, and also rushed for a a 4-yard score.
With Knile Davis watching from the sideline, Ronnie Wingo and Dennis Johnson led Arkansas' rushing attack on Saturday. Wingo rushed for 88 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries, while Johnson gained 73 yards and a touchdown on 12 attempts.
"I've always said the sky is the limit for our offense," Wilson said. "I watched the first game of last season a couple of days ago and I watched the last game of last season a couple of days ago. I was so frustrated when I watched the games because we didn't take advantage of all of the opportunities we had. We would get inside the 20 and kick a field goal or something would happen and that's why I wanted to come out and score on every possession that we had the football this spring."
Having worked against the first-team offense for much of the spring, Arkansas' first-team defense got a bit of a reprieve on Saturday. The White offense amassed only 126 yards of total offense. The Red defense held its opposition to only 8 yards on 23 carries.
The defense set up a pair of consecutive easy scoring drives for its counterpart in the fourth quarter. Jerry Mitchell returned a fumble nine yards to the White 34, leading to Allen's only touchdown pass three plays later.
Kaelon Kelleybrew intercepted Brian Buehner on the next possession and returned it 44 yards to the White 15, setting up Brandon Mitchell's touchdown run four plays later.
"We tried to get the Red team a lot of looks with the ones, so you would hope they'd dominate," defensive coordinator Paul Haynes said. "I think we just wanted to get certain looks for the one because we've had a tough week of practice, so we didn't want to kill them with a bunch of pressure and take a chance on losing guys."
Kelleybrew led the Red team with five tackles on Saturday. Trey Flowers and Chris Smith each had five sacks from their defensive end positions, while D.D. Jones had one sack from his spot at defensive tackle.
Playing for the White team, linebacker Robert Atiga led all players with 12 tackles. Safeties Houston Pruitt and Alan Turner each recorded 11.
Photos by Marc F. Henning
Tyler Wilson ran Paul Petrino's offense to near perfection on Saturday as the Red team scored on eight of nine possessions and he passed for 467 yards with two touchdowns and no picks in just over a half.
Ronnie Wingo had a big day as he rushed 14 times for 88 yards and three touchdowns and also caught two passes for 18 yards.
Cornerback Kaelon Kellybrew returns an interception with Trey Flowers leading the way.
Marquel Wade had 6 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown.
Arkansas recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Tim Horton welcomed in over 70 signees and 2013 recruits in on Saturday.
Arkansas assistant head coach Taver Johnson smiles during Saturday's Red-White game.
Arkansas tailback Dennis Johnson rushed for 71 yards on 12 and scored a touchdown.
Cobi Hamilton had 11 catches for 156 yards on Saturday.