FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Tyler Wilson admitted to some pregame
nervousness before Arkansas' season opener with Missouri State on
The Razorbacks quarterback didn't show any nerves throughout No.
15 Arkansas' 51-7 win over the Bears (0-1). Wilson, making the
first start of his career, was every bit the tactician in picking
apart Missouri State -- finishing 18 of 24 passing for 260 yards and
a pair of touchdowns.
The junior had played sparingly during his three seasons at
Arkansas (1-0), using a medical redshirt his first season before
serving as Ryan Mallett's primary backup the past two seasons.
However, even though he was baptized into the Southeastern
Conference fire last season at Auburn -- where he threw for 332
yards and 4 touchdowns -- Wilson took a moment to look around before
the game on Saturday.
"It kind of gave me chills a little bit there in pregame,"
Wilson said. "It was fun when they announced it, when they kind of
separate your mind a little bit and say, `Hey, take it in.'
"... It was a great first start, and it's nice having a good
team around you."
Wilson entered the season with no shortage of targets, and the
Razorbacks abundance of wealth at receiver showed itself against
the Bears. Eleven Arkansas players caught passes in the blowout
win, including the team's four preseason Biletnikoff Award watch
list nominees -- Joe Adams, Greg Childs, Cobi Hamilton and Jarius
Wright led the team with six catches for 108 yards, including a
pair touchdown catches from Wilson. His first was a 33-yarder in
the first quarter, and he followed that with a spectacular
touchdown grab in the third quarter -- where he barely planted a
foot in bounds before falling out of bounds.
"We know how the offense works," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino
said. "Guys are going to take turns having their game, their big
game. Certainly it was Jarius' day."
Hamilton had three catches for 38 yards and Adams just one for
11 yards. However, Adams also returned a pair of punt returns for
touchdowns in the game, tying the SEC record and keeping Wilson
from feeling too much remorse for not finding the senior more
"In my mind, I didn't get it to (Adams) enough (Saturday),"
Wilson said. "But luckily he had a great special teams night, so I
don't think he's going to be too disappointed.
"... I think everybody should be happy (Saturday). We'll try to
keep it that way."
Childs, in his first game back after suffering a season-ending
knee injury against Vanderbilt last season, had a pair of catches
for 28 yards. The senior, who was Arkansas' leading receiver last
season before the injury, received a loud ovation from the
Razorback Stadium crowd after his first catch -- a 13-yard reception
from sophomore Brandon Mitchell in the second quarter.
Childs struggled early with conditioning and timing during fall
camp, but Petrino said he had made great progress the two weeks
leading up to the opener.
"He's hungry," Petrino said. "He wants to get in there and
get more touches, but he just needs to be patient. I really thought
he took huge strides forward the last two weeks prior to our opener
and better and better each day and faster and getting back to
looking like Greg."
Petrino praised Arkansas' receivers during the preseason for
their unselfishness and blocking ability. It's Wilson's job now to
keep the peace in the talented and deep group, something Adams said he did on Saturday.
"None of us are selfish," Adams said. "So whatever guy's in,
whoever gets the catch, we just try to block for him and make sure
he gets in the end zone or a 20-yard gain or whatever it is. We're
not selfish at all."
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)