With the 2012 college football season set to kickoff shortly, Rant Sports continues analyzing the SEC and its teams in its By the Numbers series. In this edition, we take a look at the Arkansas Razorbacks.
7: The number of seasons Arkansas Razorbacks offense coordinator Paul Petrino spent under his brother Bobby Petrino. Arkansas fans may still feel a bit less optimistic about their 2012 season after losing head coach Petrino but they can take solace in the fact that his brother knows the offense almost as well as he did. Paul coached with Bobby while at Lousiville and with the Atlanta Falcons. The other Petrino also coached the Hogs in last year’s Cotton Bowl. If his familiarity with the offense isn’t enough, the success stories of former pupils will be enough to get Razorback fans to believe. Under Paul Petrino’s tutelage, Falcons wide receiver Roddy White enjoyed what was then the best season of his career and he had four receivers drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft, the most of any coach in the nation.
194: The difference in yards between Arkansas’ top two backs in 2011 and Knile Davis’ 2010 season. Davis missed the 2011 season due to a broken ankle and his teammates, Dennis Johnson and Ronnie Wingo Jr., filled in admirably for him. However, Davis’ return to the Arkansas Razorback ground game will have a big impact on the team’s 2012 outlook. In 2010, Davis rushed for 1,322 yards and 13 touchdowns. To put that number into perspective, no Razorback rushed for more than 700 yards. Johnson and Wingo Jr. will be great complements to Davis, but he will receive the lion’s share of carries. The Arkansas offense was prolific without Davis last year, so add him in and John L. Smith may have something special on his hands.
15:The number of touchdowns thrown by quarterback Tyler Wilson in three spring scrimmages. To make those numbers stand out even more, the senior quarterback did not throw an interception in any of those scrimmages. Reports from Arkansas gush over how sharp Wilson has looked in practices and believe that he is ready to take his game to another level in 2012. Wilson enjoyed one of the best seasons in Arkansas Razorback history in 2011, finishing with 3638 yards and 24 touchdowns. The senior also averaged just under 300 passing yards a game last season. To say the least, he enjoyed a great season for an SEC quarterback and he should improve upon those totals this year. Wilson can put up Heisman worthy stats but that may not be enough for Arkansas fans in year two. For him to truly take his game to the next level, he will need to come through in the clutch and defeat SEC rivals LSU and Alabama. Wilson came close to accomplishing that last season but fell short in the fourth quarter.
Chris Lionetti covers the Southeastern Conference (SEC) as a College Football Writer for Rant Sports
Follow him on twitter at: @ChrisLionetti