tailback Knile Davis
woke up with some soreness Sunday, but it was a good kind of pain.
That's because he was coming off an 18-carry, 70-yard performance Saturday night in his team's 49-24 season-opening win over Jackonsville State.
It was his first game action since the 2011 Sugar Bowl since he missed all of last season due to an ankle injury.
"It's been awhile, but it felt good, though," Davis said. "It was a little sore after the game, but I am feeling better. I've been in the training room getting better. It's what to be expected when you play football."
Davis believes that he had his game back in order.
"I think I missed two holes out of those 18 carries," Davis said. "The rest of them were good downhill runs, but, of course, I can get a lot better.
"I think my speed was there, my cuts were there, my vision was there similar to the past," Davis added.
Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino
said Davis will be breaking big runs soon.
"I agree with him," Davis said. "That is something that is just going to come. You can't force a touchdown. A long touchdown is something that just has to come and they will."
Davis' thinks the uproar over Arkansas' three fumbles is a little overblown.
"When you fumble in the first game, that is not unusual," Davis said. "It is actually pretty common. The game speed is different from practice. Game hits are different from practice hits. But it is something that we need to improve on. From this game forward, I don't expect the ball to be on the ground."
Davis actually made a touchdown-saving tackle on the Razorbacks' first fumble of the game.
"I had to make a play," Davis said. "I had to stop him from scoring so I just got him down."
He also talked about the play of an offensive line that had three new starters.
"I think they did good," Davis said. "There were a few missed blocks but it came from miscommunication. They miscommunicated and didn't know which way to go. But, it wasn't that they weren't physically capable or anything like that. They just had an assignment error that we are going to fix."
Davis said he was happy to have two games before entering conference play by hosting Alabama
on Sept. 15th.
"It is very good," Davis said. "The first game is to see where you are, and we did that. We had some bad things but we had a lot of good things. We had seven drives in the first half and on five of those we scored and the two of them we didn't were fumbles. That is the area that we need to improve on, but we did move the ball."
He said his confidence level remains high.
"The same as where it was," Davis said. "We are a good football team. We know what we are doing and that we have some things to improve on, of course. We are going to attack those issues and have a better game this weekend so that we can go into Alabama confident. I feel that we are. They have to line up just like we do, so it will be a good game."
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Former kicker Cameron Bryan is now on some kick coverage teams for the Razorbacks. He was added as a coverage man after posting a 4.4 40-yard dash.
"He is no longer a kicker," Arkansas head coach John L. Smith said. "He is a coverage guy. He is fast and we had trouble all fall in holding him up. You put him on the scout teams to look at kick coverage, punt coverage and we can't hold him up and we can't get to the guy. He's the fastest guy we have. We are trying him over there. He has done a good job. He has a way of winding through like water finding the easiest way down. He is fast and we are going to continue to work him some. He's very, very athletic.
"He's a strong guy in the weight room and can run as fast as any of our guys, so why not use him there?" Smith added. "He wants to do it because he knows that guy in front of him (Zach Hocker
) is a pretty good kicker, so he's come in and said ‘Coach, use me. What can I do? I want to help. I want to contribute.' He's getting a chance to do that, and I thought for his first game under the lights his eyes didn't get big and he went down and tried to do everything he could."
Davis said Bryan has earned his place on the field.
"In the off-season in the summer workouts, he is always up there with the skill guys – myself, (Ronnie) Wingo, Dennis Johnson
," Davis said. "He's running with us. I think he is on the board from pro agility. He is top five so he is a really good athlete.
"I look at it this way – they had better watch for a fake because he can take it the distance," Davis added.
After seeing his first action since the 2011 Sugar Bowl, Knile Davis said his body has bounced back and he feels ready to break off some big runs in the near future.