Troy-Arkansas Preview

After suffering what coach Bobby Petrino called “concussion-like

symptoms” in Arkansas’ last game, quarterback Tyler Wilson should

be ready to go Saturday night. Even if he can’t, the team should be

just fine with Brandon Mitchell under center.

The 14th-ranked Razorbacks look to move to 28-0 against Sun Belt

opponents as they face a Troy team playing for the first time in

two weeks.

After completing 18 of 24 passes for 260 yards and two

touchdowns in his first career start – a 51-7 victory over Missouri

State on Sept. 3 – Wilson did not play in the second half of last

Saturday’s 52-3 win against New Mexico after getting injured during

a 7-yard TD run in the closing seconds of the second quarter.

“Obviously, you want to minimize the amount of contact you get

during the course of a game,” said Wilson, who also landed on his

head in the season opener while trying to dive for the end zone.

“Obviously, I’m going to try and lessen that approach as I move

forward. I’ll probably try to get out of the way a little bit


Wilson ran with his teammates Sunday and said he’s “feeling


Regardless of his condition, Mitchell will likely get plenty of

snaps for an offense that’s averaging 549.0 yards and has scored

its second-most points through two games in school history.

Mitchell is 18 for 24 for 218 yards with two TDs and no

interceptions, and the sophomore also ran for 59 yards and a score

last Saturday.

“I thought that was great for Brandon Mitchell, to get all that

experience,” Petrino said. “… I always felt like we’ll never know

how good Brandon is until it’s live and he gets opportunities to

run the ball.”

Dennis Johnson could get his first chance to carry the ball

after missing the first two games with an injured hamstring.

The junior could add another weapon to a backfield that will

likely be without last season’s leading rusher, Knile Davis, for

the year after he suffered a fractured left ankle in a preseason


Junior Ronnie Wingo carried 12 times for 73 yards last weekend

as the Razorbacks rushed for 259.

Arkansas ran for 6.2 yards per carry after posting a 3.1 average

in the season opener.

“I was happy with the improvement we made from game one to game

two,” Petrino said. “… Our playmakers made a lot of plays for us.

We looked fast. We looked decisive on what we were doing. I thought

both quarterbacks distributed the ball pretty well. I was happy

with the way we worked there.”

Troy coach Larry Blakeney is well aware of Arkansas’

high-powered offense and the special teams unit, which already has

three TDs, but he could be most impressed with the Razorbacks’

defense, which has allowed 10 points.

“They look like they’re much much better and more aggressive and

faster defensively,” Blakeney said.

That could cause problems for the Trojans’ Corey Robinson, who

completed 24 of 42 passes for 258 yards with a TD and an INT in a

43-19 season-opening loss at Clemson on Sept. 3.

Troy was outscored by 27 in the second half after taking a 16-13

lead into the locker room.

“When you play a big team like this, you can’t play one half,”

safety Brynden Trawick told the school’s official website. “You

have to be able to put four quarters together and I think that if

we do that we are going to be alright.”

The Trojans have dropped 11 straight to ranked teams since a

24-14 victory over then-No. 19 Missouri on Sept. 9, 2004.

Arkansas improved to 3-0 against Troy with a 56-20 victory in

Fayetteville on Nov. 14, 2009.