FAYETTEVILLE — Treylon Burks was injured early in the Mississippi State game and missed all the Auburn game, but his return sparked a big 33-21 win over Ole Miss.
No play during the game was much bigger than a 7-yard reception from quarterback Feleipe Franks that gave the Hogs a 26-14 lead with 7:36 remaining in the game. Burks made a spectacular one-handed grab and managed to bring one foot down in bounds.
The catch came on a third-and-one play. Following the game Burks talked about the grab.
“I had to sit out last week against Auburn,” Burks said. “I just came back confident, and I knew my teammates had confidence in me, so I just went in and played for them and the Arkansas Razorback nation. The catch, it didn’t surprise me. I do it in practice. It’s just something I work on and something I want to get better at.”
Burks isn’t into personal awards and downplayed it when asked where the catch ranks with him?
“I don’t know all the rankings and stuff like that,” Burks said. “I don’t get into stuff like that, but who knows. I’m just glad we scored and we got a win.”
Franks was very complimentary of the grab by Burks.
“I thought he did an excellent job getting his foot down and scoring right there,” Franks said. “That’s what I’m talking about it was a key moment making the plays that we absolutely had to make. That was a big moment, a key touchdown for us. And then at the same time, man there are a lot of other aspects that go into that play other than that. The offensive line did a really great job getting the pressure off the ball right there. The back doing a great job sealing the edge for me to get around and Treylon making a heck of a catch. So just team effort and that was really good in general.”
Since it was a third-and-one play most assumed the Hogs would run it there. Franks was asked what was going through his mind when Kendal Briles called a pass to the end zone?
“What was going through my mind?,” Franks said. “My reads, to be honest with you. Yeah, that play, we work and we rep 100 times before we run it out there on the field, so great job just executing the play all around. Great catch, great finish, and like I said, when it mattered we made a play. I was confident with that play, and every play that Coach Briles calls. Our job isn’t to go out there and question the call, our job is to go out there and execute what is called. We did a great job doing that in that moment, and I was excited for him. He deserved that. He works hard.”
Franks feels if he gets it near Burks then the talented sophomore will make the play.
“Yeah, once again I thought it was a heck of a job by Treylon,” Franks said. “Getting open No. 1 and then finishing it making the catch. Great job by him. And then rest of the guys like the running back sealing off the edge. There were so many things that went into that game that I thought we did well and then again a bunch of stuff we’ve got to clean up. That’s why we have that bye week for. We’re continually working and trying to learn the game and build chemistry. I’m just proud of these guys showing resilience when it mattered ultimately to go out there and win the game offensively and defensively.”
Franks didn’t have Burks during the Mississippi State and Auburn games. He also feels that Burks will continue to get better.
“No, I don’t think he’s reached his full potential yet,” Franks said. “He’s a heck of a player, but at the end of the day, man, he’s continually getting better week in and week out. He works super hard. When he got hurt, he worked super hard in the training room to get his body back to be available for our team. I thought Treylon did a great job. He’s always working hard and trying to be quarterback friendly and able to get the ball, then at the same time get the ball and get yards after catch. I thought that all the receivers did a great job at that today, getting the ball and getting up field and getting those yards after catch. That was important in this game and he did a great job doing that.”
Sam Pittman was elated to have Burks back for Saturday’s game.
“Huge,” Pittman said. “He’s just a leader. I love him. He’s a very physical guy, he made some big plays out there. You could see the rust on him a little bit too, from not being healthy the last couple of weeks. But he’s a competitor. He loves Arkansas. He made some really key plays today.”
Pittman wants Burks involved in the offense as much as possible.
“We need to get him the ball as much as we can,” Pittman said. “The thing about Treylon is, I wasn’t for sure he was going to be able to play. He obviously couldn’t play last week. I didn’t know if he was going to be able to play on Tuesday, Wednesday. I felt a little bit better about him on Thursday, but we didn’t know if he was going to be able to play. He played today, y’all saw, I mean, he probably played about 80 percent. He’s a great football player. But he wasn’t healthy today. I mean, he was healthy enough to play, but he wasn’t his regular self, so I anticipate his touches going up.”
For the game, Franks completed 21 of 34 passes for 244 yards, a touchdown and one interception. He also rushed 14 times for 16 yards. Burks caught 11 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown. He ran it four times for 46 yards.