Arkansas Football 2011: What Are the Expectations for Knile Davis' Junior Season
Knile Davis amassed just a pitiful 163 yards as a freshman in the Razorbacks system, and expectations for 2010 were not very high.
After a very successful 2010 campaign, those expectations have changed drastically.
The Razorbacks are going through a major change in the offseason, and Davis will most certainly be a big part of the offense in the 2011 season.
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Davis started the 2010 season with plenty of question marks surrounding the talented Razorback runner.
Broderick Green, Dennis Johnson and Ronnie Wingo Jr. joined Knile Davis as part of a talented quartet of running backs in 2010. Head Coach Bobby Petrino vowed to play all of the backs with hopes that one of the backs would rise above the rest to claim the No. 1 spot.
When the 2010 season was complete, there was no doubt that the No. 1 running back was Davis.
The Arkansas Razorbacks are listed as 30-to-1 underdogs to win the BCS Championship at Hollywood Sportsbook. If Davis can have a great season, those odds may just pay off.
2010 Run To Stardom
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After injuries to the backfield, Davis was given the starting nod, and he never looked back.
Davis took advantage of the opportunity and led all SEC running backs with 1,322 yards.
This is very impressive considering that he did not get the bulk of the carries all year long, and the Arkansas Razorbacks feature a pass-happy offense.
Ending the Year On a High Note
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Although quarterback Ryan Mallett was the leader of the offense, it was Davis who opened up the passing game with his big gains on the ground.
Davis ended the season rushing for over 138 yards in six of the last seven games of the season. These numbers are even more impressive when you take a look at the opposing defenses.
Davis posted 110 yards on the road at South Carolina and 187 yards on the road at Mississippi State. Davis was impressive against the LSU defense putting up over 180 yards and was impressive against Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl putting up just under 140 yards.
With the stellar end to the 2010 campaign, the sky is the limit for Davis in 2011.
Davis Key to the Offense?
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Davis should get the bulk of the carries for the Hogs biggest backfield threat as they enter this season.
Ryan Mallett is headed to the NFL, so as Petrino grooms quarterback Tyler Wilson (if he gets the call as starter), he will need a quality running back that he can rely on.
With a new quarterback in the fold, Davis will be a great emergency receiver and should benefit from pass receptions as well as carries in the high-powered offense. Petrino is recruiting offensive linemen who will add to the protection of the big front line, which should open up some big holes for Davis.
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So what are the realistic expectations for Knile Davis' junior season? If he can match the run he had at the end of the season, then there is no reason that Arkansas Razorback fans should not expect the most out of Davis in 2011.
In fact the Heisman Trophy is not out of the question.
Davis had 20 or more carries in five of the last seven games and that was with an experienced quarterback. Now with a young quarterback, look for Davis to be featured prominently in the offense. With the kind of numbers that he has the potential to put up in the SEC, there is no reason to believe that Davis would not be a candidate for the Heisman Trophy.
Matt Regaw is a B/R Featured Columnist and the founder of BookieBlitz.com, your one-stop shop for sports articles, previews and predictions. Feel free to contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.