Arkansas coach John L. Smith, quarterback Tyler Wilson and defensive end Chris Smith met with the media this afternoon as Rutgers week begins.
None of the three were really asked much about the actual game, though. For good reason. Arkansas is in a tailspin after two bad losses, so the topic of conversation was more about the state of the program. And, maybe even more important to that fact, the state of its quarterback.
With that in mind, our "Five Things We Learned" blog post from the press conference is being tweaked this week.
Here are "Five Things We Learned" from Wilson as he looked back at Saturday's postgame speech and his health status.
ē The Concussion Tests Don't Lie - Wilson said he worked with doctors in Fayetteville all week and also visited with some specialists in Pittsburgh as he dealt with the concussion after the ULM game. Obviously, Wilson didn't perform well enough in testing to play. Wilson said he didn't feel like himself, either. "Symptoms-wise, it was more than just a headache. You take tests. The tests donít lie. You do a number of things. I didnít feel like my 100 percent self. Itís not going to the doctor. Itís doing certain drills, exercises, to get my mind rehabbed a little bit I guess you would say. And they put me through a pretty good amount of stuff here and itís made me better.Ē Wilson said he even took a test Monday morning. He apparently didn't pass, but Wilson remained optimistic. "The results were much better than the previous time. Much, much better. Almost real similiar to baseline. That to me is very, very positive in my probability this week. I'm going to do everything I can do to get back to playing quarterback for this team this week."
ē Wilson Was Speaking For His State ó We know Wilson called out his team during his postgame speech. But it wasn't exactly delivering a message for his teammates. "I was going into that room not to speak to the team, but to speak to the people because Iím an Arkansas kid. I know how much it means to me growing up, to a lot of you guys in this room, to a lot of the fans in the stands to see that display out there on the field. The product we displayed. And itís tough. And I wanted everybody to know that that is not acceptable here. And going forward weíre going to do the best we can, and Iím going to do the best I can, to keep everybody together and display a much better product out there on the field.Ē
ē He Wasn't Calling Out Any Player in Particular ó Wilson said his thought that Razorbacks kind of "gave up" was directed at everyone. Wilson said he wasn't pointing the finger at anyone in particular. At least publically: "That is one thing Iíll never do," Wilson said. "There were certain situations in the game where I saw some things and I just think as a whole it needs to get better. I think I would have done the same thing if I was out there playing. There were times early in the Monroe game that I did things wrong, you know? So it doesnít go back to anybody in particular as a team. Itís us as a whole. Weíve got to get better. Weíev got to do things right."
ē Wilson Knows More Hits Are Coming ó You don't have to tell the QB he's going to get hit again whenever he steps on the field. He knows it: "Itís the way it is. Itís the way itís going to be from now on. I know that. I donít think you change the game since you were a little kid. Itís the way you play the game. Unfortunately, the second game of both years Iíve had kind of a similar occurrence. We went on from that game last year. A lot of people were questioning me, whether I could stay healthy the whole year and we go on and have a great year. So, thereís a number of things that are like eerily similar to this point last year. We just happened to play Troy the week I was out last year, as opposed to Alabama."
ē The Quarterback Is Optimistic He'll Play ó No one can say for sure if Wilson is going to play Saturday. He must pass the concussion test before it can happen. But Wilson said he felt much better as this week begins. He's supposed to participate in practice throughout the week and will continue to take concussion tests. "Level of confidence?" Wilson said about being cleared before Saturday. "Iím extremely optimistic. Iím extremely optimistic. Iíve just got to get those guys to say, 'Yes.'"
ó Robbie Neiswanger ē Arkansas News Bureau