Now the question is whether the star quarterback can get the Razorbacks out of their funk.
Arkansas coach John L. Smith said Thursday that doctors cleared Wilson to return to action Saturday against Rutgers. Last season’s first-team All-Southeastern Conference quarterback missed the Razorbacks’ 52-0 loss to No. 1 Alabama last week with what he called a concussion.
The senior was injured late in the first half against Louisiana-Monroe the week before, a game Arkansas (1-2) lost in overtime after leading by 21 points in the third quarter.
The Razorbacks (1-2) fell from No. 8 to unranked with that loss, and their troubles continued against the Crimson Tide, as they were shut out for the first time since 1995. Wilson spoke after the game, trying to rally his teammates.
He’ll have the chance to back up those words on the field against the Scarlet Knights (3-0).
”He is that energy, that vocal person that we need,” Smith said. ”His energy and that positiveness, it just kind of breeds and it keeps going and it spirals, and that’s what we need.”
Wilson, who is 30 of 47 for five touchdowns, took part in non-contact practice each day this week. He threw for 3,638 yards and 24 touchdowns last season, guiding Arkansas to an 11-2 record and Cotton Bowl win over Kansas State.
Without Wilson, the Razorbacks, who have led the SEC in passing offense in each of the last three seasons, were held to just 79 yards through the air. Redshirt freshman Brandon Allen and junior Brandon Mitchell combined to finish 11 of 25 with two interceptions.
Smith said Wilson will have no limitations against Rutgers, and that he has no hesitation about playing the quarterback.
”Tyler’s Tyler,” Smith said. ”He’s going to go out there and play his darn best, regardless.”