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.
Arkansas Razorbacks report:
TE Gragg, RB Davis ruled out
Arkansas tight end Chris Gragg has been ruled out of Saturday’s game after reinjuring the deep bone bruise on his left leg.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas has not made it through a game this season without losing a starter to injury.
Coach John L. Smith said Monday that tight end Chris Gragg and tailback Knile Davis would not be available when the Razorbacks take on Tulsa at 11:21 a.m. Saturday.
Gragg suffered a recurrence of the deep bone bruise on his left leg and knee just before halftime of Saturday’s 30-27 loss to Ole Miss. The senior from Warren had caught a 42-yard touchdown pass before his injury.
Davis suffered a hamstring injury at the end of a 23-yard reception in the second quarter.
“I would not expect him to come back from the hamstring this week,” Smith said. “At least that is our guesstimation. Of course, the trainers do a tremendous job. They’ll get him back on the field as quickly as they can, but we’re not planning on him being here with us.”
Quarterback Tyler Wilson battled through a hip pointer he got on the Gragg touchdown pass, but was able to run with the team Sunday night.
Defensive tackle D.D.
Jones has not played in the past two games because of leg problems. Smith said the staff is trying to get Jones below 300 pounds to help with the problem.
Receiver Brandon Mitchell, who did not travel with the team to Little Rock last weekend for a violation of team rules, will return to practice today, though his status has not been resolved, Coach John L. Smith said.
“Yes, he’s going to practice with the team,” Smith said before referring to it as an internal situation.
“When I do know more, how long it’s going to be or etc., then I’ll let you know.
“But right now it’s internal and I’d rather not talk about it. We’ll get it solved.”
A UA official with knowledge of Mitchell’s status said he expected the issue to be resolved this week.
Arkansas had a 15-yard Austin Tate touchdown catch on the second play of the fourth quarter negated by an illegal formation penalty. The officiating crew called an Arkansas receiver for being a step back instead of on the line of scrimmage, meaning he amounted to a fifth player behind the line.
“You can look at it and say, ‘Was he on, was he off?’” Coach John L. Smith said. “We left doubt in the official’s mind. So, by our alignment leaving doubt, we were at fault.”
SEC Network analyst Andre Ware said on the telecast that the officials got the call right.
Arkansas Coach John L.
Smith said the Razorbacks reviewed game tape of their 30-27 loss to Ole Miss but quickly put it away.
“We tried to get it out, get it buried as quickly as we could, so we could get on to Tulsa,” Smith said.
“We do have to bury it,” cornerback Tevin Mitchel said. “It’s life. We have to move on and continue to focus on what’s coming up next. That is Tulsa for us. Ole Miss is in the past.” Tube talk
Arkansas’ road game at South Carolina on Nov. 10 will be a national broadcast on CBS with an 11 a.m. kickoff.
The Hogs will have started five of their past six games before noon when they play the Gamecocks, including Saturday’s 11:21 a.m. game against Tulsa.
Arkansas has won three games in a row against South Carolina and leads the series 13-7. The Razorbacks routed the No. 18 Gamecocks 41-20 in the last game between the teams at Williams-Brice Stadium in 2010.
Ole Miss kicker Bryson Rose, who went 3 of 3 on field-goal attempts in the Rebels’’ 30-27 victory at Arkansas, including a 53-yarder and a game-winning 31-yarder at the buzzer, was named SEC special teams player of the week.
Coach John L. Smith said Saturday when a team gets a punt blocked, as Arkansas did against Ole Miss, lose 90 percent of the time. But Smith upped that number Monday. “I think that percentage is probably 95 percent, so if you give up a punt block, you’re going to end up losing the game.” Smith said the punt block needs to be put on his shoulders.
Tulsa’s last victory over Arkansas was 9-3 Sept. 25, 1976, during Frank Broyles’ final season. The Razorbacks have won the past 17 games in the series.
SATURDAY’S GAMES All times Central Missouri at Florida, 11 a.m.
Texas A&M at Mississippi State, 11 a.m.
Vanderbilt at Kentucky, 11 a.m.
Troy at Tennessee, 11 a.m.
Tulsa at Arkansas, 11:21 a.m.
New Mexico State at Auburn, 11:30 a.m. Mississippi at Georgia, 2:30 p.m.
Alabama at LSU, 7 p.m.
Sports, Pages 20 on 10/30/2012