Eleven wins and two losses, this record has proven to be a wildcard ever since the BCS format was established. For the Arkansas Razorbacks, this was a very successful season. Their only two losses coming to division foes and eventual participants in the BCS National Championship Game Alabama and LSU have the entire Razorback team feeling very optimistic about the upcoming 2012 college football season. Both teams were considered the nation’s elite for most, if not all, of the 2011 season.
With quarterback Tyler Wilson returning for his senior season the Razorbacks should be poised at no longer being the third team in the toughest division in college football. Wilson had a great junior season last year throwing for 3,638 yards with a 63.2 completion percentage, 24 touchdowns and a 148.8 quarterback rating. Tyler did a phenomenal job stepping into the shoes of predecessor Ryan Mallet, who likewise had a great final year for the Razorbacks in 2010 and is currently a back-up quarterback for the New England Patriots.
Although Arkansas’ top two wide-outs from last season left to the NFL Draft, Jarius Wright and Joe Adams, this does present an opportunity for possession receivers such as junior Cobi Hamilton and tight end Chris Gragg to step into big time roles as go-to players. Joining the skill players will be freshmen tight end Deondre Skinner and running back Kaleb Blanchard who were top recruits and should make immediate impacts. As previously stated, this is Tyler Wilson’s team and he looks to improve on an already outstanding season that had the Arkansas Razorbacks 13th in the nation in overall passing yards per game at 300.7 ypg. Joining the freshman is top Razorback recruit Brooks Ellis who at 6 foot 2, 215 pounds should be a versatile defensive option in the 3 technique. Ellis with help from the many returning starters from last year’s defense should bring Arkansas’ total points per game allowed down below the 22.2 given up in 2011.
Arkansas opens up with 2 non-conference games and then host the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide on September 15th. This game will be a true indicator for just how much noise the Razorbacks’ will make in the SEC, and national championship picture, for the 2012 season. Before playing LSU at home the final regular season game of the year, Arkansas will go onto play at Auburn on October 6th and this will most likely be their toughest road game of the year. How the LSU and Alabama games go will undoubtedly write the script for what guarantees to be an exciting and drama filled 2012 college football season. You can bet that a week 3 win against Alabama will catapult Arkansas into the BCS top 5 rankings and furthermore, Tyler Wilson into the Heisman discussion.
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