Hogs: Offense clicks despite injury to Davis; QB Wilson, 'backs, receivers shine

Hogs: Offense clicks despite injury to Davis; QB Wilson, 'backs, receivers shine

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 Knile Davis
FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas' all-SEC running back Knile Davis ran into a pile during Thursday night's scrimmage and could not walk out of it.

The junior injured his left leg, screamed in pain and was removed from Reynolds Razorback Stadium presumably to Washington Regional Medical Center for X rays and treatment.

Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee, the coach designated to address media after Thursday's practice, said only head coach Bobby Petrino discusses injuries and took no questions about Davis' injury.

Petrino was not made available to media. Davis led all SEC running backs last year witih 1,322 yards rushing.

McGee did say junior running backs Dennis Johnson and Ronnie Wingo performed well Thursday night.

"I thought they did a good job," McGee said. "We know they are both good quality players.  Dennis has made a lot of big runs in huge games. Ronnie is continuing to develop. He is at the point he is an upperclassman now and is making things happen."

Johnson, severely injured the second game last year and granted a hardship junior year, lettered as a 5-9, 213-pound kick returner/running back in 2008 and 2009.  Wingo lettered in 2009 and 2010 and last spring posted the best spring of all the Arkansas running backs.

"I thought they ran real good," third-year sophomore offensive guard Alvin Bailey said. "I thought Ronnie did a good job being physical  and D.J. is the same little runner he always is out there. I thought they did a good job."

Quarterback Tyler Wilson praised Johnson and Wingo and cited true freshman Kody Walker (6-2, 235) of Jefferson City, Mo., as did McGee.

"They ran the ball pretty strong," Wilson said.  "Kody Walker – this was my first time seeing him run — he ran the ball pretty good. We all know Dennis. I call him the little bowling ball. He goes in there and puts his head down. Ronnie Wingo ran the ball as strong as I’ve ever seen him run. No matter what the circumstances are, we'll be all right."

Had Davis not been injured, Wilson would have been the talk of the scrimmage.

The fourth-year junior stepping up to first team after record-setting QB Ryan Mallett turned pro, was an unofficial 16 of 20 with four touchdowns, two to senior receiver Joe Adams and two to senior receiver Jarius Wright.

"He's responded well the last couple of days," McGee said. "He was really in control yesterday and has put together a good couple of days."

Junior receiver Cobi Hamilton caught a pass after tight end Chris Gragg's reception jump-started the Hog offense Thursday.

"Every day Tyler is getting better," Hamilton said.  "The thing about Tyler, he’s going to find a way to win the ballgame. We have confidence in Tyler, and I think that’s going to be our guy this year. so hopefully we just keep pushing and have our faith in Tyler and Brandon (Mitchell, the sophomore No. 2 quarterback).

Adams caught an 8-yard  TD bullet from Wilson and took a Wilson jump pass over the middle to race untouched for his second touchdown.

Wright caught a perfect 46-yard bomb from Wi
lson for one of his scores.  Wright was spectacular on a 33-yard reception, eluding  cornerback Darius Winston and virtually tackled his tackler, safety Elton Ford.. Junior tight end Chris Gragg caught the ball well from both Wilson and second-team QB Mitchell.

"We came out a little slow, and then our receivers picked up," said Gragg, a fourth-year junior from Warren. " My tight ends made a couple of catches. I think we got a lot better today. Tyler was throwing the ball around. Some of his incompletions were drops. He was throwing it on the money."

Was this his best practice of August? "Yes," Gragg said. "I caught some deep balls. I  missed some balls in traffic I should have caught, but overall I felt I did good in my blocking as well.

Mitchell threw one TD to receiver Javontee Herndon.

During the clash of third units, freshman QB Brandon Allen of Fayetteville threw a pass picked off by redshirt freshman linebacker Braylon Mitchell of Heber Springs, but bounced back to throw a TD to sophomore receiver Julian Horton.

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