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September 15, 2012
UA NOTEBOOK: Wilson has harsh words for teammates
TUSCALOOSA | Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson might not have gotten into the game Saturday, but he certainly got his opinion heard.
The Razorbacks senior and all-Southeastern Conference passer, unavailable to play with a concussion, spoke to the media with some choice words for his teammates in the aftermath of the University of Alabama's 52-0 win.
"Do I feel that we, at times, gave up out there? Absolutely," said Wilson, who did not take questions. "As a leader it sucks to see people not do their jobs and things go wrong. There's been a lot of things gone that way."
In Wilson's place, Brandon Allen and Brandon Mitchell combined for just 11 of 25 passing for 79 yards and a pair of interceptions. Arkansas (1-2, 0-1 SEC) faces Rutgers next week, and Wilson said he would do all in his power to be back in the lineup by then.
"I think everybody should have a tremendous amount of understanding for Arkansas' circumstances. Tyler Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the country, and the whole program is built around the guy," UA coach Nick Saban said. "The whole team is built around the guy, in terms of what they do on offense, and they're really good when he's playing."
Wilson indicated he's intent on holding the Razorbacks' resolve together after a poor start to the season.
"There's been a lot of people jump off the bandwagon, and it's my responsibility as a leader to keep everybody in this organization, in this team, in that locker room together," Wilson said. "And I'm going to make sure of it going forward."
Twos see time
Alabama's win wasn't the first action of the season for backup quarterbacks Phillip Ely and Blake Sims, but it was by far their best opportunity to showcase their skills over an extended period of time.
With a 38-0 lead, the UA coaching staff opted to end starter AJ McCarron's day more than a quarter early, alternating Ely and Sims beginning with the Crimson Tide's last offensive series of the third quarter. Each also got a little playing time with the first-team offense around him, something Saban said he hoped for the chance to do.
"All these guys want to play, they work hard, they deserve to play. We love to get them to play," Saban said. "We wanted to get an opportunity for the other quarterbacks to have a chance to play with the first line and the first receivers in case they ever have to do that, if something happened to AJ."
Ely completed 2 of 3 passes for 15 yards, while Sims completed his only pass for 9 yards and scored on a 27-yard touchdown run.
Williams on offense
The Tide showed a new goal-line look offensively Saturday when nose guard Jesse Williams entered as a fullback in the I-formation. Williams went left for his block, but the run went to the right as Eddie Lacy scored on a 1-yard touchdown. UA coach Nick Saban said Williams went the wrong way but joked that he drew Arkansas defenders in the wrong direction also.
"That's what I said," Saban said with a smile. "It worked good."
UA used nose guard Terrence Cody in a similar role during the national championship season of 2009.
AJ McCarron is now just one pass short of his personal record for attempts without an interception, having thrown 151 consecutive passes without one, dating back to last season. The school record is 190, held by Brodie Croyle. ... Receiver Christion Jones made quick atonement for a second-quarter holding penalty that negated an Eddie Lacy run to inside the Arkansas 5. On the next play, on a first-and-19 from the Arkansas 20, Jones threw the block that sprung Amari Cooper for his first career touchdown reception. ... UA kicker Cade Foster had a strong performance with a 51-yard field goal and touchbacks on eight kickoffs. A missed 52-yard field goal attempt late in the first half had plenty of distance but struck the upright. Foster also recovered a fumble on a third-quarter kickoff that set up the Crimson Tide's fifth touchdown. His eight kickoff touchbacks topped his total for the entire 2011 season. ... Freshman linebacker Denzel Devall made his first career sack in the fourth quarter, just a play after freshman D.J. Pettway made one of his own. ... Alabama's defense posted back-to-back shutouts for the first time since shutting out Vanderbilt and Kentucky in successive weeks in 1980. ... The UA defense recorded 10 tackles for loss and forced five fumbles. ... Alabama game captains were senior defensive end Damion Square, senior tight end Michael Williams and junior offensive tackle D.J. Fluker.
Reach Chase Goodbread at email@example.com or at 205-722-0196.