Hogs Air Out Jacksonville State
Things did not start well for the Arkansas Razorbacks in the season opener but the end result sent the Hogs home winners.
Tyler Wilson threw for a season opener record 367 yards and three touchdowns as Arkansas cruised to a 49-24 win against Jacksonville State.
The much anticipated return of Knile Davis went off without incident — more importantly without injury. Davis finished with 70 yards on 18 attempts and a second quarter touchdown.
“I thought they did a really good job,” Wilson said of the offensive line. “When I got us in the right protections they did their job. There was one miscue on a run play in the first series in the second half. We can’t let that happen.”
Davis rushed for (minus) 10 yards on four attempts in the second half. Davis was one of four running backs who found the end zone.
With three receivers from last year’s team now on NFL rosters, Arkansas’ biggest offensive question was who would Wilson throw to. That was quickly answered.
“We have a lot of stuff to improve on, especially like communication, dropped fumbles,” Davis said. “We can’t have that. For the first game, it went well.
“It felt real good to be out there. I had a lot of fun out there. I think I did OK for the first game but I got to get a lot better.”
Tight end Chris Gragg had a team high seven catches for 110 yards and two second quarter touchdowns. Gragg and Wilson hooked up for a 30 yard touchdown with 11:12 left in the second quarter tie the game at 14-14 and sparked the Hogs’ offense. Gragg and Wilson connected again on Arkansas’ next possession, a four yard touchdown pass to put the Hogs up for good.
“I think it was a good night, good way to start the season,” Gragg said. “I went out there and made some plays when my number was called. I have to protect the ball when I get in traffic.”
Gragg had one of the team’s four fumbles, three of which were recovered by Jacksonville State.
Arkansas’ defense struggled in the first half as it allowed 21 points and 193 yards but stiffened up after intermission. The Gamecocks had just 129 yards on 42 plays in the second half, an average of just three yards per play.