College Football: Spring Game Roundup: Former West Rowan star Smith has five sacks at Arkansas

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 21, 2012

Staff & wire reports
The spring football report …
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — With the firing of Bobby Petrino, the Arkansas Razorbacks need leaders.
Quarterback Tyler Wilson, naturally, will be the leader on offense.
On defense?
Former West Rowan defensive lineman Chris Smith made his statement Saturday in helping the Red to a 65-0 victory over the White Saturday.
Smith, who stands 6-3, 252 pounds had a whopping five sacks in the spring game in front of a record crowd of 45,250 — besting last season’s previous best of 42,000.
Wilson, meanwhile, had no reservations about stepping into Petrino’s role. The Arkansas QB made a point to fill any leadership void left in the wake of Petrino’s firing, both emotionally and on the field.
Wilson’s results: 31-of-41 passing for 467 yards and three touchdowns.
The performance also left no doubt that the near future at Arkansas is in good hands with both Wilson and running back Knile Davis.
Petrino was nowhere near the scrimmage Saturday following his April 10 firing after the revelation that he had hired his mistress to a position in the football program and paid her $20,000. Wilson, however, was — making it clear who the leader was while standing only steps away from and encouraging Hocker during his attempts and when calling the Razorbacks together following the kicker’s final field goal.
Wilson was 26-of-34 passing in the first half, connecting with Gragg for a 60-yard touchdown late in the first quarter.
SOUTH BEND, Ind.— To most fans, the big stars of Notre Dame’s Blue-Gold Game were quarterback Everett Golson and running back George Atkinson III.
To head coach Brian Kelly, things looked entirely different.
In a day that featured an even competition between four quarterbacks, it was Golson’s 120 yards passing and two touchdowns that led the way. He was also the only one of the four signalcallers to not throw an interception.
The fan favorite was Atkinson III, who ran 15 times for 124 yards and caught three passes for 54 yards, including some nifty moves that left defenders grasping at air. On the down side, he fumbled twice.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer opened his first spring game at Ohio State with his players gathered at midfield for a series of one-on-one battles.
It started with defensive tackle John Simon and offensive lineman Jack Mewhort pushing and shoving like sumo wrestlers until one appeared to have the upper hand. Even the top two quarterbacks, Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton, went at it. Cheering and taunting teammates circled the combatants.
“I’ve got a little bit of a quick whistle when some of those guys are in there,” Meyer said with a grin. “I just wanted some good energy in there. Our quarterbacks, like anybody else, they’ve got to put their nose on people. You have to be very careful and very smart. And sometimes I’m accused of neither. But it was fun for the fans and I know that our players came out of their shoes when we did that.”
Rod Smith ran for a 7-yard touchdown with 5:29 left and Christian Bryant made it stand up with a late interception to lead the Scarlet to a 20-14 victory over the Gray.
The crowd was announced as 81,112 on a misty, chilly day at Ohio Stadium, although there appeared to be far fewer.