Wide receiver Jared Cornelius is listed as starter in Arkansas depth chart

Sophomore wide receiver Jared Cornelius is listed as a starter in the depth chart released Monday for Arkansas' game with Tennessee-Martin. Bret Bielema discussed that upgrade for the slot position, plus the surgery for Rawleigh Williams at his Monday media briefing. Bielema said Williams could play again.

Jared Cornelius has been out since the Texas Tech game with breaks to both bones in his lower arm. But the sophomore wide receiver is now listed as a starter at the slot position in the depth chart released for Arkansas' game with Tennessee-Martin.

Bielema said a decision would be made later in the week whether or not Cornelius will play on Saturday. Game time is 3 p.m. for the UA game with UT-Martin.

Bielema said last week that Cornelius has practiced with no problems after a surgery to put plates on the broken bones in his lower arm. He was limited with no contact last week.

"We met with his mother yesterday and we'll go forward with him playing this week if all goes well," Bielema said. "If all goes well, he'll play this week."

Bielema met with the media on Monday for his weekly press briefing. First up was an update on running back Rawleigh Williams, who underwent neck surgery on Saturday night. Williams was injured in the third quarter of the Hogs' game with Auburn when he was tackled by the face mask and sustained a hit to the helmet.

Williams was discharged from the hospital after learning how to take a neck brace on and off. Bielema said the situation is "fluid" as far as the next few weeks. But, Bielema said the prognosis is for Williams to "play again." Obviously, Williams is out for the rest of the season.

"I know this, every report says he'll probably play again next year," Bielema said. "It could be that he is able to go in the spring. We'll find out a lot more going forward."

Bielema said he discussed the prospects of Cornelius playing with his mother.

"She needed some convincing," Bielema said. "We'd let the docs do that.

"Then, I told Jared he needed to be truthful on how it feels. He's got a four-inch plate in there. I've got a plate in my knee and I know what it feels like when it's cold. We talked about that."

How big could his role be this week?

"It could be nothing," Bielema said. "But it could be unlimited. If we feel like he can help on 10 plays, it could be 10 plays. We'll just have to see.

"Jared is full go and should play Saturday. He's ahead of schedule."

Bielema was asked extensively about the play calls by offensive coordinator Dan Enos in the four overtime victory over Auburn.

"Kudos to all of our offensive coaches," Bielema said. "There was great communication throughout the game and it was the most dialogue I can ever remember, especially in the overtimes. Dan was great. He knew where he was going with every call in the four overtimes."

Bielema and Enos both praised the blocking of wide receiver Drew Morgan on Kody Walker's two-point run in the third overtime.

"Drew actually got the corner, then flipped his hips so the linebacker ran over him and that let Kody walk in," Bielema said. "Then, Dan decided right there to go to him on the next play at the other end for a touchdown. It was actually a 2-yard out, but Drew took it for a touchdown."

Bielema said the call by defensive coordinator Robb Smith to start the fourth overtime was just as important. JaMichael Winston stopped Peyton Barber for a 1-yard gain, then the Hogs defended three straight passes, all incomplete, to end the game.

"That was a ballsy call by Robb," Bielema said. "It was 100 percent Robb. It helps when you get the touchdown and the two-point play (to go up 8 points) and you go back out there on defense. It gives you a little more confidence.

"But give Robb credit. He called a high double eagle look and that's an aggressive run fit call. They had run it down our throats and our guys were over running their play. So this fit was a way to fix that. It was a great call."

Smith said problems stopping the run in the first three overtimes influenced his call.

"You have a lead and it was a risky call," Smith said. "You leave yourself open to the big play. But we decided we'd get in our goal line defense. Basically, we got in our goal line front at the 25. Then we could get them off schedule. It's amazing, one play can change the momentum and it did for us."

Smith praised Rohan Gaines and Josh Liddell, the starting safeties. Both were productive in getting the defense lined up against Auburn's multiple formations.

"Our guys trust Rohan to communicate with the game on the line, getting our splits right," Smith said. "Josh really had a flawless game with his calls, too, then made the big play with the pass deflection on fourth down."

Dre Greenlaw led the team with 16 tackles, but "didn't play his best game," according to Bielema. Greenlaw graded out at just 70 percent.

"He can play so much better," Bielema said, noting that he's also got to improve on class attendance. Bielema joked that he called him out on Wednesday for "spending too much time with the girls track team."

Smith said Greenlaw is playing with high energy, but still has to get the "nuances" of the position down perfect.

"But he's working hard to do that," Smith said. "He wants to play better."

Pass defense will be a big focus this week.

"I think our pass rush has gotten better in the Tennessee, Alabama and Auburn games," Smith said. "Our coverage needs to improve. We are going to work hard on our underneath coverage. We know that UT-Martin can throw effectively and they will challenge us, especially with our underneath coverage. Our linebackers and secondary must improve and we are going to work hard to fix those things this week."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories