At the beginning of the 2010 college football season, most fans outside the state of Arkansas had to wonder seriously how good the 2011 version of the Razorbacks could be. With senior Ryan Mallett on his way out, it seemed like the Hogs were in for a setback come the 2011 season. But as fate would have it, America learned of backup Tyler Wilson’s talent after a Mallett injury sidelined him against Auburn in 2010. Although the hogs did go on to lose that game to the eventual National Champs, Pig Sooey nation got a glimpse of their future for the next 2-3 seasons: Tyler Wilson.
Fast forward to this football season, and expectations were high in Fayetteville. After watching what Tyler and the WR corps were capable of, red and white faithful all over the natural state had to feel that this could be their year. Although the hogs took a loss in Tuscaloosa early in the year, it is safe to say that this has been the season they had hoped for. In a year in which Alabama running back Trent Richardson and South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore were the center of everyone’s attention in the SEC, Tyler has made a name for himself at the QB position. Sure it’s easier to be successful when you have receivers like Joe Adams and Jarius Wright, but credit to Tyler for carving up opposing defenses week in and week out with consistency.
Although comparing a RB’s rushing yards to a QB’s passing yards is apples to oranges, just take a look at the yards/play average in the SEC. While touching the ball the most plays in the SEC (356), Wilson STILL manages to carry a hefty 7.4 yard/play average 9 games into the year. When you think about it, that is almost as if Wilson has produced a first down (or near it) each snap that he has touched the ball this season. And when you consider that number includes INT’s and incompletions, that stat is even more impressive.
So what does this number tell us? Well for starters, it tells us that without Wilson, this Hogs team would most likely be sitting in the cellar with Ole Miss at this point. But even without talented RB Knile Davis around this season, Wilson continues to produce, continues to shine and continues to push the Razorbacks closer to another BCS bowl berth come January.
-Whiskey Indian November