Fayetteville–There was not a head coach on the premises but fifth year senior Tyler Wilson played like one on the field leading the Red team to a 65-0 knockout of the White team to conclude a controversy filled spring for the football Hogs.
Wilson was 31 of 41 passing for 422 yards and a pair of touchdowns in front of a record spring game crowd of over 45,000. Receivers Cobi Hamilton and Marquel Wade along with tight end Chris Gragg caught a combined 21 passes from Wilson for 422 yards.
On behalf of his teammates Wilson had made his case to athletic director Jeff Long for retaining the current staff of assistant coaches following the firing of head coach Bobby Petrino. In Saturday’s Red-White spring game he and his teammates made those coaches look good with an eye-popping performance on the field.
Afterward offensive coordinator Paul Petrino, who said that Wilson had given the pre-game speech, praised the starting quarterback’s leadership during the current crisis.
“You know, he’s done that all spring,” Petrino told reporters. “He’s went out to the practice field every day with a bounce in his step and his chest up really high and feeling really good about everything. I think that’s just carried over to everybody.”
The Red Team defense was equally impressive in pitching a shutout of the White team offense. Defensive coordinator Paul Haynes said he employed a basic defense with almost no blitzing because, “We’d used a lot of pressure in practice this week and we didn’t want to get anybody hurt in this game.”
His philosophy has been the same since he took over the defense before the Cotton Bowl game.
“We were going to concentrate on stopping the run and I think we did that,” Haynes emphasized. “We’ve still got to continue to get better at a lot of different things. I’m going to stress tackling like crazy so every missed tackle is going to be a huge deal to me.”
It appears that Long is closing in on naming a replacement for Bobby Petrino but it is not clear if he will hire a permanent head coach or name an interim leader for the 21012 season. He is reported to have said that Petrino’s successor will be a name almost everybody will know.