FOUR DOWNS – ARKANSAS VS. TEXAS A&M NOTES
1. Hamilton Earns SEC Honor
Arkansas receiver Cobi Hamilton was named the Southeastern Conference’s Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. The senior was recognized after catching 10 passes for 303 yards with 3 touchdowns in the 35-26 loss to Rutgers.
The performance set the SEC’s single-game records for receiving yards in a game, breaking a mark held by former LSU receiver Josh Reed. It also set the school record, which was set by Jarius Wright (281 yards) against Texas A&M in 2011.
Hamilton shared the SEC award with South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw, who completed 20 of 21 passes for 249 yards with 2 touchdowns in a win over Missouri.
His efforts played a big role in Arkansas’ late charge, which fell short Saturday. He caught a 54-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, then added 10- and 80-yard touchdown catches in the second half. Hamilton’s third touchdown catch - which also tied the school’s single-game record - helped Arkansas pull to within 28-26.
The Texarkana, Texas, native enters Saturday’s game at Texas A&M ranked No. 1 in the SEC in receiving yards a game (107.2) and ranks 10th nationally. His 303-yard effort also was the 14th-best performance in Football Bowl Subdivision history.
“They’re probably going to pay a little more attention to him after a 300-plus yard game. I would,” Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson said about the Texas A&M defense. “But we’ve got some guys that can make plays. Brandon Mitchell, a guy I’m excited about, gets an opportunity. … Brandon has an opportunity to kind of make a splash this week when they’re kind of paying more attention to Cobi.”
2. Gragg, Injury Updates
Arkansas tight end Chris Gragg suffered a bone bruise during the hit that knocked him out of the Rutgers game last Saturday. Arkansas coach John L. Smith provided an update on Gragg during his appearance at the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday, saying the senior is “day-to-day” as the Hogs prepare for Texas A&M.
Gragg entered the game leading Arkansas in receiving and has caught 19 passes for 234 yards with two touchdowns this season. Wilson said the Razorbacks would miss Gragg if he couldn’t play against the Aggies, but the offense would press on.
“I think he’s doing much better,” Wilson said of Gragg. “I can’t speak on his behalf, obviously, I don’t know how he’s feeling deep down. The reports from him were positive and I’ll let the people that discuss that discuss it. But I expect him to be OK.
“He’s obviously a very, very good player. And if he’s not out there on Saturday we’ll miss him. But we’ll find some other ways to distribute the ball around. We did the majority of last game. So we’ll find some ways.”
3. Petrino … At Auburn?
An audience member in Little Rock posed an interesting question to Smith during his speaking engagement Tuesday: Did he think former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino’s next coaching job would come at Kentucky or Auburn.
Smith laughed at the question, but took a stab at it anyway.
“I don’t know that Kentucky might be in there,” Smith said. “Auburn probably is a better guess if I were to guess, to be perfectly honest with you.”
Neither job, of course, is open at the moment. Auburn won a national championship in 2010 under Gene Chizik, who is in his fourth season with the Tigers. Joker Phillips is in his third season with the Wildcats.
Arkansas plays Auburn on Oct. 6 and Kentucky on Oct. 13.
4. Extra Points
Fullback Kiero Small will not return to the field this season because of the broken foot he suffered in practice earlier this month. Smith said Small can use a redshirt this season and return in 2013 if he chooses. … Sophomore Luke Charpentier started at guard in place of Tyler Deacon last Saturday. Deacon sat out with a sprained knee, according to Smith. It’s not known if Deacon will be available for Saturday’s game. … Kickoff time for the Arkansas-Auburn game on Oct. 6 has been set for 11 a.m. The game will be televised by either ESPN or ESPN2.
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau