On this morning’s SEC teleconference, Arkansas head coach John L. Smith was badgered with Tyler Wilson questions.
After injuring his head in the Razorbacks’ shocking overtime loss to Louisiana-Monroe last week, the All-SEC quarterback has not yet been cleared to practice this week.
Wilson’s status for the Alabama game, which is currently day-to-day, will be determined by the medical staff.
Smith said that he is more optimistic about Wilson today than he was on Monday.
“I am more optimistic, but still, that decision has not been made yet and it’s not in my hands,” he said. “I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”
If Wilson can’t go, either Brandon Allen, who came in against ULM in the second half and completed just six of 20 pass attempts for 85 yards and a touchdown and one interception, or Brandon Mitchell will play. Smith said the two are in a quarterback competition this week.
“It’s going to be a battle and we expect it to continue today and maybe tomorrow,” Smith said. “And who knows, maybe Tyler will be back ready to go.”
After a loss like last week, Smith said there’s a tendency for his team to drop its chin and “carry it there throughout the week,” but the coaching staff is trying to get the team’s mindset right, which Smith says will be the most important thing.
“It’s gonna be a battle,” Smith said.
Smith was also asked questions about facing A.J. McCarron and Alabama’s offense, whose coordinator Doug Nussmeier coached under him at Michigan State.
“[McCarron] does everything well to be honest,” Smith said. “He’s got some mobility to him so he can get out of trouble and of course he’s not going to force the ball and things like that. He does a great job of managing his club. They’re able to run the football and do it real well and play-action off of that and when they do spread it and throw it, they’ll not only test you up top of course, but they’re very content to take what you give them…You know, they’re a good offense and that’s the way good offense are.”
Then Smith quipped: “If they could just find themselves an offensive coordinator, now they’d be real good.”
Smith also called for the Arkansas fans to bring a 12th man type of energy and to not “jump off the bandwagon.”
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