Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
No plan to spell Wilson
Arkansas football Coach John L. Smith says senior quarterback Tyler Wilson has earned the right to stay in games as long as he wants.
FAYETTEVILLE Coach John L. Smith said after Saturday’s 38-20 loss at South Carolina that quarterback Tyler Wilson has earned the right to say when he’s ready to come out of games.
“He’s a senior and he’s going to get every snap that he wants to take,” Smith said. “He’s given that much to the program. He deserves to take whatever he wants to take, and when he wants to come out he can come out.”
Wilson played every offensive snap against the Gamecocks and did the same in a 58-10 loss at Texas A&M on Sept. 29. Backup quarterback Brandon Allen has played one series — in the third quarter of a 49-7 rout of Kentucky — since splitting snaps with Brandon Mitchell in a 52-0 loss to Alabama.
Wilson said he and the coaches discussed his playing time after the Texas A&M game.
“I’m going to stay in there any time I think we have a chance to move the football,” Wilson said. “As long as my guys look at me and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to fight our tails off and keep moving the football, I’m going to stay in there.’ I don’t want to be the guy sitting on the sideline while the rest of the starters are on the field.
“That’s just not me. That’s the way I look at it.”
Many Arkansas starters on both sides of the ball played virtually the entire game on Saturday.
“The guys we have are the guys we can play and at least give you a chance,” Smith said. “That’s why those guys play the entire game.”
Credit from J
Arkansas receiver Cobi Hamilton, who leads the SEC with 114.9 receiving yards per game, has broken single-season records held by Jarius Wright each of the past two weeks.
Hamilton’s 72 yards on Saturday pushed his season total to 1,149 yards, moving him past Wright’s 1,117 yards last season.
“I didn’t even know how many catches or yards I had,” Hamilton said. “I really don’t have too much to say about it. It’s a great accomplishment. I talked to Jay Wright this morning. It’s kind of hard to say more about that.”
South Carolina scored a critical touchdown with 1:30 remaining in the first half, converting a fourthand-5 with a deep pass from Connor Shaw to wide open Bruce Ellington that went 42 yards for a score.
“Man, it hurt a lot,” Arkansas defensive end Chris Smith said. “I think that was the changing point of the game.”
The touchdown gave South Carolina a 21-10 lead at the break.
“You know, it’s heartbreaking, but it’s football,” said cornerback Tevin Mitchell, who was on the other side of the field from the play, which went over the head of corner Will Hines and well in front of Rohan Gaines, who Ellington juked at about the 5.
Mississippi State Coach Dan Mullen, whose 7-3 Bulldogs host Arkansas on Saturday, said on Sunday he hasn’t yet started studying tape on the Razorbacks.
“Just watching them on TV, I don’t know, I just see a team that’s got a tremendous amount of talent and has been in situations, I know they’ve had some tough breaks it seems like all year this year.”
Senior wideout Cobi Hamilton was the Arkansas player who was off the line of scrimmage, drawing an illegal formation penalty that wiped out his 40-yard catch and run to the South Carolina 21 on Arkansas’ first series.
“Yeah, it was completely my fault,” Hamilton said. “I didn’t completely listen to the play call. Good play. I take full blame on that myself.
“I wasn’t on the line. Tight end was off the line, I was supposed to be on the line.”
South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo “Whammy” Ward, an Arkansas assistant in 2008, chose to defend the Razorbacks’ dangerous passing game with less man-to-man than the Gamecocks had in the past.
“I feel if we had played more zone coverage in the past we would have had a better chance to beat Arkansas,” Ward said. “Coach Petrino’s system is set up to beat man to man with all the crossing routes. If you watch the teams that have played well against Arkansas this season, they’ve played a lot of zone. That’s why we played a lot of zone.”
Arkansas junior Zach Hocker took over the school’s all-time scoring lead for kickers on a second-quarter field goal, with his 285 points surpassing the 280 scored by Steve Little (1974-77).
“It was cool,” Hocker said. “It’s something I didn’t really know until after the game. You know, it’s something I’ll look back on one day and think that’s a pretty cool deal, but today, we’re not bowl eligible because of today.
“We have to win these next two games to be bowl eligible, so that’s our main focus. It is pretty cool, but we’re focused on a lot bigger things now than just individual records.”
South Carolina safety D.J. Swearinger was named the Walter Camp national defensive player of the week after posting a careerbest 13 tackles and a 69-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Gamecocks’ 38-20 victory over Arkansas. Swearinger had 10 unassisted tackles and added a quarterback hurry.
South Carolina 38, Arkansas 20
Missouri 51, Tennessee 48, 4OT
Florida 27, Louisiana-Lafayette 20
Texas A&M 29, Alabama 24
LSU 37, Mississippi State 17
Georgia 38, Auburn 0
Vanderbilt 27, Mississippi 26
SATURDAY, NOV. 17
All times Central
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 11:21 a.m.
W. Carolina at Alabama, 11:21 a.m.
Jacksonville State at Florida, noon
Wofford at South Carolina, noon
Georgia Southern at Georgia, 12:30 p.m.
Alabama A&M at Auburn, 1 p.m.
Sam Houston State at Texas A&M, 2:30 p.m.
Mississippi at LSU, 2:30 p.m.
Syracuse at Missouri, 6 p.m.
Tennessee at Vanderbilt, 6 p.m.
Samford at Kentucky, 6:30 p.m.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
RB Jonathan Williams
Williams, a true freshman from Allen, Texas, ran for a team-high 61 yards on 7 carries and continued to show innate vision and cutting ability. Williams finished with a team-best 74 all-purpose yards, including 3 receptions for 13 yards.
DT Jared Green
Green, a senior out of Little Rock Central, had 5 total tackles, including 4 unassisted tackles stops, and posted a sack for a 9-yard loss. Green had 2 tackles behind the line for a team-high 13 lost yards.
Sports, Pages 21 on 11/12/2012