Position-by-position matchups

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Saturday, November 3, 2012

— OFFENSE Quarterback

Cody Green,

6-4, 247 pounds, the Nebraska transfer who was nursing an ailing throwing shoulder for a couple of weeks before sitting out a 28-24 victory over Rice on Oct. 20, looks ready to start for Tulsa after an open week.

Green’s numbers (107 of 205 for 1,329 yards, 10 TDs, 6 interceptions) aren’t eye-catching, but he’s operated the run-first Tulsa attack well and he’s 10-1 as a starter. His 116.9 efficiency rating is No. 93 in the nation. Sophomore

Kalen Henderson, who started against Rice, is 15 of 45 for 269 yards with 1 TD and 2 ints.

Arkansas’

Tyler Wilson

(148 of 248, 2,254 yards, 16 TD, 7 ints.) is completing less than 60 percent of his passes (.597) for the first time this season. Wilson forced a few throws last week and had 2 picked off - and it could have been more. His 322 passing yards per game rank No. 6 in the nation and No. 1 in the SEC.

His 151.67 efficiency rating is No. 24 nationally.

Running back Tulsa mixes in runners as well as any team Arkansas has played since Alabama.

Alex Singleton,

6-1, 260 pounds, is the bruiser and goal-line guy with 15 touchdowns this year and a school-record 34 in his career. The senior (113, carries, 495 yards) has 10 TDs in the past 4 games. Junior

Ja’Terian Douglas

(89-702, 6 TDs, 7.9 yards per carry) has 3 100-yard games and leads the FBS with 4 runs of 60-plus yards. All 7 of the 5-11, 189-pounder’s career TDs have been scored from 15 yards or longer. Junior

Trey Watts

(73-507, 2, 6.9 ypc) is the best pass catcher of the group with 16 catches for 176 yards.

Dennis Johnson

(83-489, 6 TDs, 5.9 ypc) has assumed Arkansas’ lead back role from

Knile Davis, who will sit out today with a hamstring injury.

Johnson rushed for career highs of 27 carries for 161 yards last week and had 83 yards after contact.

Jonathan Williams

(25-123, 4.9 ypc) had 5 carries for 28 yards last week, but he wasn’t a factor in the passing game after catching two for touchdowns against Kentucky.

Ronnie Wingo

(10-53, 1) has been slowed by a shoulder injury. Fullback

Morgan Linton

is mostly a lead blocker with 3 receptions for 29 yards.

Receiver

Keyarris Garrett

(28, receptions, 443 yards, 5 TDs) became Tulsa’s top target after

Bryan Burnham, an 850-yard receiver in 2011, was lost with a knee injury in Week 1. Garrett, a 6-4, 207-pounder, will be a matchup issue for the Hogs. Garrett’s cousin is

David Mims, a former Baylor and Kansas City Chiefs player. H-back

Willie Carter,

6-2, 231, has 25 receptions for 218 yards and 2 scores, with 3 career 100-yard games.

Khiry Cooper,

6-3, 205, a Nebraska transfer, has 3 catches for 30 yards.

Jordan James

(20-283, 1 TD) has 18 career starts. The tight ends are

Charlie Copa

and

Cody Wilson, neither of whom have a catch.

Senior

Cobi Hamilton

(58-900, 4 TDs, 15.5 yards per catch) is having a massive season.

He is 10th nationally with 7.3 catches and 112.5 yards per game. Combined production from the other wideouts in the last game: 4 catches, 48 yards.

Julian Horton

(8-113, 2) is improving.

Javontee Herndon

(10-171, 3) had his 2-game streak of scoring a touchdown snapped.

Mekale McKay

(13-193, 1) has been quiet lately. The Hogs are preparing for a fourth game without top tight end

Chris Gragg, who had 3 receptions and a touchdown in one half vs. Ole Miss before reinjuring his leg. Tight end

Alex Voelzke

had his first catch and first career touchdown last week, and

Austin Tate

(9-74) nearly had his first, wiped out by a penalty.

Brandon Mitchell

(15-257) is out because of an off-the-field issue.

LineTulsa has a seasoned line with three seniors, a junior and a sophomore in the starting lineup, but it’s one of the smallest faced by Arkansas at an average of 6-3, 294 pounds. Senior center

Trey Dupy, on the Rimington Trophy watch list given to the nation’s top center, has 44 career starts and 41 in a row. Seniors

Jared Grigg

and

Brian DeShane

anchor the unit at the tackle spots, while sophomore

Jake Alexander

and junior

Stetson Burnett, a 26-game starter, are the top guards. The unit makes things happen for the nation’s No. 9 rushing offense (248.8 yards per game) and its No. 52 total offense (382.8). The Hurricane are No. 3 nationally in allowing 0.5 sacks per game. Arkansas had a solid running game last week and will look to build on it vs. Tulsa. Center

Travis Swanson, also a Rimington Trophy nominee, and guard

Alvin Bailey, a preseason All-SEC selection, are both set to make their 35th career starts.

Bailey will be flanked at tackle by either

Brey Cook

or Jason Peacock. The former walk-ons

Tyler Deacon

and David Hurd man the quick guard and tackle spots, respectively. Arkansas is No. 100 in rushing (122.1), No. 17 in passing (306.6) and tied for No. 35 with 1.5 sacks allowed per game.

DEFENSE Line Tulsa leads the country with 35 sacks for 255 lost yards, an average of 4.4 sacks per game.

The Hurricane are No. 2 with 9.4 tackles for loss per game. Seniors

Jared St. John

(30 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 7 sacks) and

Cory Dorris

(24, 5.5, 2) are productive starting ends.

Dorris has 45 career starts, St. John 9. End

Brentom Todd

(14, 5.5, 1) had a critical three play stretch vs. Rice with a 7-yard TFL, a pass breakup and a 4-yard sack that led to missed 47-yard FG.

Derrick Alexander

(13, 4.5, 2) also rotates at end. Tulsa’s top tackles are also both seniors:

Daeshon Bufford

(31, 7, 3.5) and

Derrick Jackson

(22, 4 TFL), with support from freshman

Derrick Luetjen

(13, 4 TFL).

Arkansas, fifth in the SEC and tied for 31st with 2.5 sacks per game, expects senior tackle

D.D. Jones

(13, 1.5 TFL, 4 PBU) back to add strength to a rotation featuring

Byran Jones

(35, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack), Alfred Davis (25, 1.5 TFL),

Jared Green

(16, 4, 2 sacks) and

Robert Thomas

(15, 4.5, 2, 4 hurries). Run stopping will be at a premium for the Hogs’ front, which includes starting ends

Chris Smith

(29, 6.5, 4.5, 8 hurries) and

Trey Flowers

(24, 7, 4.5, 7 hurries) and backups

Colton Miles-Nash

(10, 1 hurry) and

Austin Flynn

(8, 1.5 TFL, 1 hurry).

Linebacker Tulsa’s 75 tackles for loss lead the nation.

Leading tackler

DeAundre Brown

(82 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 8 sacks) has started at all 3 spots and is now at middle linebacker. His sacks have totaled 60 yards in losses. Weakside starter

Shawn Jackson

(44, 5.5, 1.5), who has 3 career touchdowns, missed the first 3 games for a violation of team rules.

Mitchell Osborne

(25, 2.5, 2) starts at the “Cane” position on the strong side. Reserves

DeWitt Jennings

(20, 6, 2),

Trent Martin

(19, 1) and Jake Sizelove (13)have been relatively productive. Tulsa ranks No. 26 against the run (121.1 yards per game) and No. 52 in total defense (382.8). Arkansas’ linebacker rotation is extremely limited, with senior Tulsa native

Terrell Williams

leading the way in the middle with 45 tackles, 2.5 TFL, a pass breakup and a hurry. Freshmen

A.J. Turner

(23) and Otha Peters (10) have begun taking lots of snaps since the injuries to senior captains

Alonzo Highsmith and

TenariusWright.

Secondary Three seniors in the Tulsa backfield round out a defense with eight senior starters. Safety

Dexter McCoil

(52 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 5 pass breakup) has a school record 15 career interceptions. Free safety

Demarco Nelson

(43, 2 PBU, 1 int.), with 33 career starts, is the lone junior. Cornerbacks

Lowell Rose

(35, 6 PBU, 2 ints., 2 forced fumbles) and

John Flanders

(12, 1 PBU) have a combined 51 career starts, 210 tackles and 28 PBU.

Dwight Dobbins

(17, 2 PBU) also sees time at corner. The Hurricane gave up 337 passing yards and 3 TDs to Alabama-Birmingham’s Arkansas-like offense and hasn’t seen the array of skill talent the Hogs possess.

“Star”

Ross Rasner

has taken over Arkansas’ team lead with 61 tackles. He also leads the team with 3 interceptions and 4 pass breakups, and has 5.5 TFLs. Freshman

Rohan Gaines

(55, 1 PBU, 1 hurry) and junior Eric Bennett (27, 3 PBU) take most of the reps at safety.

Sophomore

Tevin Mitchel

(19, 3 PBU, 2 forced fumbles) is back in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game opposite freshman

Will Hines

(19, 1 int., 1 PBU), who has had an adventure in on-the-job training fresh out of high school.

Special teams

Trey Watts

is the nation’s No. 3 kickoff returner (34.6-yard average) and his work, including a 95-yard TD return against Marshall, has helped Tulsa rank No. 5 in kick returns. The Hurricane are No. 52 in punt returns (9.2). Senior

Cory Dorris

has 6 career blocked kicks. True freshman kicker

Daniel Schwarz

is 7 of 11 on field goals, 37 of 39 on extra-point attempts and his 58 points are the fifth-most among freshman kickers this season. Sophomore punter

Cole Way

ranks No. 65 with a 40.7-yard average, and the Hurricane are No. 77 in net punting (36.2). Arkansas has not been flashy in the return game, with senior

Dennis Johnson

No. 94 (18.9) in kick returns after a bad game last week. Freshman

Nate Holmes

(4.9) will apparently take over punt returns from

Keante Minor

(7.6) this week, and both have had a couple of muffs. Punter

Dylan Breeding

(45.2) is 11th nationally after a down week, and the Hogs fell 24 spots to No. 31 in net punting (39.2) after having one blocked vs. Ole Miss.

Zach Hocker is 7 of 11 on field-goal attempts, 27 of 27 on extra-point attempts, but isn’t getting the scoring action he saw the past 2 seasons.

Intangibles The Golden Hurricane see a struggling opponent and a chance to make a regional neighbor hurt even worse while advancing their case as a potential BCS buster. Despite a narrow escape (28-24) against lowly Rice in its last outing, Tulsa will be brimming with confidence today in its quest to snap a 17-game losing streak against the Razorbacks.

Arkansas has suffered injury upon indignity all season, with only a few more chances to knock off quality teams. The Razorbacks’ roster is brimming with Tulsa-area and eastern Oklahoma talent, so pride is an incentive.

Arkansas must beat the Hurricane for homecoming and LSU in the season finale to even its record (4-4) at home.

Key match up

Arkansas’ tackling and run-stopping vs. Tulsa’s ground game

The Hurricane run a trio of talented backs - Ja’Terian Douglas, Alex Singleton and Trey Watts - in and out of the game, while Arkansas does little substituting in its back seven. Tulsa ranks No. 9 in rushing offense (248.8 yards per game), while the Razorbacks are No. 30 against the run (123.4)

Sports, Pages 22 on 11/03/2012

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