- Head Coach: Bobby Petrino
- O-Coordinator: Garrick McGee
- D-Coordinator: Willy Robinson
- Offensive: Knile Davis (RB- Junior) UPDATE: Davis is expected to miss the entire 2011 season with an ankle injury
- Defensive: Jerry Franklin (LB- Senior)
Overview: Head coach Bobby Petrino has transformed the Razorbacks into a perennial national power since taking over the program just a few years ago. The Razorbacks were an offensive juggernaut last season, averaging 36.5 points per contest. The Arkansas offense filled the stat sheets in 2010 by compiling an incredible 6,273 yards of total offense (7.1 yards a play). The offense was led by quarterback Ryan Mallet, who set numerous Arkansas passing records in 2010. Unfortunately, Mallet decided to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft. Still, with 13 starters returning on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, the Razorbacks are in excellent position to improve upon their 2010 success.
The Razorbacks were extremely effective in converting on their Red Zone opportunities last season. In total, the Hogs converted on 44 of their 49 Red Zone chances last season (89.8%). Much of that success should be attributed to the leadership of Mallet under center, however with the departure of their talented signal caller the Razorbacks will need junior Tyler Wilson to fill the void. Wilson did appear in 6 games last season completing over 66% of his pass attempts. He doesn’t have nearly as strong of an arm as Mallet (most don’t), but he is an accurate and fairly mobile quarterback (more so than Mallet). Wilson will need to try and cut down on his interceptions in 2011, as he did throw 3 picks in just 51 pass attempts last season.
The Razorbacks return a number of important players at the skilled positions on offense in 2011. Senior receivers Joe Adams, Greg Childs, and Jarius Wright give the Razorbacks one of the most talented trio of receivers in the nation. The three combined for 138 receptions last season, good for 2,260 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns. The Razorbacks receivers and tight ends caught 3 or more touchdown passes in 9 out of 13 contests last season. The Razorbacks also return the leading rusher in the SEC last season, in junior tailback Knile Davis. Davis has to be considered a Heisman candidate this season based off of last years production alone. Davis terrorized opposing defenses last year to the tune of 6.4 yards per carry. He is a dynamic threat out of the backfield for offensive coordinator Garrick McGee. In the Razorbacks last seven games of the season (including bowl game vs.Ohio St.),Davis rushed for 1,028 yards (7.5 YPC) and 10 total touchdowns (9 rushing, 1 receiving). Look for change of pace back Ronnie Wingo Jr. also to figure prominently in the Hogs rushing attack in 2011.
Defensive coordinator Willy Robinson returns 7 seven starters from a year ago, including extreme depth at the defensive line and linebacker position. The defense is led by senior linebacker Jerry Franklin, who has the led the Razorbacks in tackling since his freshman season (2008). In 2010, Franklin compiled 95 tackles (58 solo), including 13 for a loss to go along with 6.5 sacks. Defensive ends Tenarius Wright and Jake Bequette combined for 55 total tackles and 12 quarterback sacks in 2010. The two should combine to give the Razorbacks one of the more formidable passing rushing duos in the SEC this season. Aside from standout senior free safety Tramain Thomas (4 INTs & 74 tackles in 2010), the Razorbacks will need to address some potential weak spots in their secondary. The Razorbacks secondary will need to cut down on the big plays they relinquished from just a season ago.
Arkansas Razorbacks 2011 Schedule
Sept 3 vs. Missouri State
Sept 10 vs. New Mexico
Sept 17 vs. Troy
Sept 24 @ Alabama
Oct 1 @ TexasA&M
Oct 8 vs. Auburn
Oct 22 @ Ole Miss
Oct 29 @ Vanderbilt
Nov 5 vs. South Carolina
Nov 12 vs. Tennessee
Nov 19 vs. Mississippi State
Nov 25 @ LSU
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