Arkansas worked for two hours in full pads on a hot Tuesday in the Ozarks in its first practice of the week. Among the changes, quarterback Tyler Wilson saw his repetitions with the second unit increase dramatically. A couple of new face were with the offense.
Wilson, true freshman from Greenwood, saw his redshirt posibility come to an end with playing time in the last three possessions of the 49-14 loss to Alabama. Wilson threw a touchdown pass to convert the Hogs' first turnover of the year. He also took a couple of sacks.
"I got a lot more today, definitely," Wilson said, noting it was perhaps twice the practice snaps in the team segments over the previous Tuesdays in game week. "I got a lot more reps. It increased today.
"From what I got today, I feel a lot more comfortable as far as being prepared to play. I knew before that there was a chance my number would be called. I knew going into last week that the decision to redshirt (or not) had not been made. You always have to be prepared to have your number called, but now I know there's more of a chance I could play if something happens to Casey or something else."
Wilson said the touchdown was a good feeling, but the next two series were a "welcome to the SEC. I hadn't taken a hit in awhile. I'm trying to learn the protections so that doesn't happen again. The coaches called plays I was comfortable with and had run a lot in practice. I knew I had good playmakers in the game with me and was familiar with what they could do. That helped a lot."
Wilson was used in shotgun formation, but he's working hard to play catchup as far as learning to take snaps from under center. He had never played in anything but the shotgun formation until arriving on the Arkansas campus.
"I'm getting more and more comfortable with that," he said. "They were good to me this game and just put me in the shotgun, but I feel now that I could manage a game from under center at this point. And, I'm getting better every day.
"I got in some good work today. I got in a good sweat. I'm happy about that."
The Hogs made two personnel switches in practice this week to get some help at running back. Jermaine Love and Van Stumon took snaps at fullback. Love was listed as a reserve at middle linebacker and Stumon has been working at defensive tackle. Stumon played tailback in high school and has worked previously at fullback during his time at Arkansas. There was no comment from coaches on their status on the depth chart.
Wide receiver Lucas Miller did not practice Tuesday after sustained what was thought to be a mild concussion against Alabama.
"I don't know his status for this week yet," said Paul Petrino, offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach. "He wasn't out (at practice) so I always assume that you are not going to have him for the game. That could change and it's up to our trainers. We moved Chris Gragg over there to get some more reps there (with Carlton Salters) and everyone else just got more reps."
Casey Dick said he received many calls of support from teammates over the weekend, including a wave of phone calls and messages Saturday night.
"That was good and I appreciate it and wasn't surprised," said the quarterback. "I am just moving ahead and looking forward to competing this weekend. I am excited to be playing Texas. It is going to be a fun day to go and play there. As far as the Arkansas-Texas game always goes, it's going to be a big game and we look forward to it."
Tight end Andrew Davie, one of Dick's close friends, knows what to expect from the quarterback this week in practice and against Texas.
"He's going to be fine," Davie said. "I called him right after the game to tell him we need him to bounce back and we support him. He was in good spirits. He will be there for us. This team needs him and we know he's going to carry us."
Tuesday Grid Update, 9/23
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