The Arizona Razorbacks have a bit of a chip on their shoulder this weekend.
After coming off a blowout 52-0 loss to top-ranked Alabama last Saturday, the Razorbacks (1-2, 0-1) are anxious to prove they aren’t quite as much of a disappointment as they’ve been made out to be.
"Everyone had good energy and a lot of fire," Arkansas coach Paul Petrino said after practice on Tuesday. "It is kind of like a new beginning. We are going to start over and move on from this point and start winning."
The Razorbacks were without senior quarterback Tyler Wilson, whose outlook for this weekend’s game isn’t positive either, and the missing link showed on the field.
Freshman quarterback Brandon Allen made a solid attempt to fill in for Wilson, last season’s first team All-SEC quarterback, going 10-of-18 in the air for 60 yards and two interceptions.
With Wilson’s return on Saturday still somewhat questionable, Arkansas will be depending on their rushing game in the matchup with Rutgers, which accounted for 58 of the squad’s 137 total yards last week.
The loss was the first in Razorback Stadium for Arkansas since a fourth-quarter drop against Alabama two years ago. It was also the first shutout for the Razorbacks since a 28-0 loss to LSU in 2005 and the first shutout loss at home since 1996.
The offensive stall is exactly what the Razorbacks are hoping to turn around when they line up against the Rutgers squad on Saturday afternoon.
Of course, they’ll have to get past the Scarlet Knights defense first; a defense that has let up minimal points in a season-long gritty performance on the grid iron.
"They haven't given up many points," Petrino said. "They have kept people from making big plays, but I think we have a real good plan. That is the key; we know have to go out during the game and execute."
Rushing Leader: Knile Davis (54 carries, 191 yards, 3.5 yards per carry)
Passing Leader: Tyler Wilson (30-of-47, 5 TDs, 1 INT, 563 yards)
Receiving Leader: Chris Gragg (17 receptions, 226 yards, 2 TDs, 13.3 yards per reception)
ARKANSAS GAME RESULTS
Sep 01, 2012 Jacksonville State W 49-24
Sep 08, 2012 at ULM L 31-34
Sep 15, 2012 No. 1 Alabama L 0-52