Top 25: No. 10 Arkansas 49, Jacksonville State 24
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. • Tyler Wilson opened his Heisman Trophy campaign in convincing fashion, doing so with a mostly remade set of receivers.
Wilson set the school record for passing yards in a season opener by finishing 19 of 27 for 367 yards and three touchdowns to lead the No. 10 Razorbacks to a 49-24 win over Jacksonville State on Saturday night.
Two of Wilson's touchdowns went to tight end Chris Gragg, who finished with seven catches for 110 yards to help Arkansas (1-0) win its first game under coach John L. Smith.
Brandon Mitchell, the former backup quarterback turned starting receiver, joined in the fun with four catches for 122 yards and Javontee Herndon caught four passes for 96 yards.
The Gamecocks (0-1), who are coached by former Razorbacks coach Jack Crowe, led 14-7 in the first half. Marques Ivory had a pair of touchdown passes, while Alan Bonner had eight catches for 107 yards.
Crowe coached Arkansas from 1990 until he was ousted by former Razorbacks athletic director Frank Broyles after the first game of the 1992 season, a 10-3 loss to the Citadel.
Jacksonville State stayed close to the Southeastern Conference's top offense throughout the first half and only trailed 35-21 at halftime, but the Gamecocks couldn't keep pace with Wilson and his revamped receiving corps.
Arkansas lost three of its top receivers (Joe Adams, Greg Childs and Jarius Wright) to the NFL after last season, and its top returning receiver (Cobi Hamilton) left Saturday's game with an injury during the first half.
Gragg and Mitchell provided Wilson all of the big-play capability he needed, and nine Razorbacks finished with catches. Wilson followed with back-to-back touchdown passes to Gragg to put Arkansas up 21-14 after Jacksonville State took a 14-7 lead in the second quarter.
Wilson's passing yards total broke the former season-opening record of 318 yards, set by Casey Dick against Western Illinois in 2008.