FAYETTEVILLE — Treylon Burks had a big performance in the season opener despite Arkansas falling to Georgia 37-10.
Burks caught seven passes for 102 yards and a 49-yard touchdown, rushed once for three yards and did attempt one pass throwing an interception. Burks talked about the touchdown catch and his ability also to stay in bounds after making the reception.
“Well, as you can see Coach (Kendal) Briles had dialed it up,” Briles said. “I mean it was a good play. We work that play over and over every week in practice, and I just felt like it was just that time to use it. I just did it to the best of my ability. I just saw the sideline out of my periphery and I just stayed inbounds and scored.”
The incredible thing about Burks’ touchdown is it was the first of his collegiate career. Last season, Burks caught 29 passes for 475 yards, rushed nine times for 35, returned 12 punts for 130 yards and 10 kickoffs for 226 yards.
“Like I said last time I’m not really worried about the touchdown,” Burks said. ” When I scored it was a big hooray, but I was ready to get back to my teammates and get back on offense and start working.”
Burks talked about how he had so much success against Georgia’s physical defensive backs and the ones he will face Saturday night in Starkville.
“Georgia, they played a lot of zone and man, and as a team we worked that during the week,” Burks said. “I just felt like attack it the way that Coach Briles had gameplanned and everything worked out to the best of my ability and to the other receivers.
“I feel like against Mississippi State, we’ve been working on it, and we can’t put out everything we’re going to do, but we’re just going to attack the week.”
The defensive backs in the SEC are known for grabbing, but he talked about how he handles that as well.
“Well, it starts in practice with our defense,” Burks said. “We have the same physical defense as the other SEC teams, so we just go out there and work every day and they compete with us and obviously our position coach, Coach (Justin) Stepp, he’s physical with us with bags and everything. We just work at that every day.”
Burks has done a great job getting yards after the catch as well. He talked about how he has been successful at that last fall and in one game this season.
“It really comes from the team, the scout team and just in practice,” Burks said. “Having those people push me every day (helps), and I just feel like when I catch the ball, get the offense a spark and get the team as far as I can at the best of my ability. I just work hard at it every day in practice.
“The yards after catch, that just comes from working at it at practice. Or just working on it on your own time. Just being physical catching the ball, getting vertical every day. It comes with that.”
Sam Pittman said Monday the offense needs to communicate better. Burks said they are working on that this week.
“With the communication, it just comes from us getting comfortable with each other and just communicating,” Burks said. “Just say for instance Tyson Morris gets the play and I don’t get it. Him communicating to me and me communicating it all the way across. It’s just something to work on.”
Arkansas only had the ball for 24:14 against Georgia. They obviously have to improve that to prevent the defense from wearing down.
“We just need to stay together and pick up our tempo,” Burks said. “Just convert when we need to convert when the defense has a big three and out. Just move the ball as fast as we can.”
Burks also was impressed with quarterback Feleipe Franks playing his first game with the Hogs.
“I mean Feleipe has already played in the SEC before so he’s built for this type of play,” Burks said. “I think he had a great game. We obviously as a unit have stuff to get better at so we’re just gonna come out this week and approach it to the best of our ability. It’s something to win for that.”
Franks and Rakeem Boyd are the offensive captains. Burks talked about the messages those two are sending to rest of squad.
“Rakeem and Feleipe they’ve been pushing us the whole week just to get better at things we did wrong during the week of last week and during the game,” Burks said. “It’s good to have them as team captains and big leaders.”
Arkansas and Mississippi State will meet on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. and televised on the SEC Alternate.
Burks talked about how he felt after the Georgia game and this week’s preparation for Mississippi State.
“As a team, we felt, you know, obviously, we lost the game, but we just felt like we’ve gotten better in a lot of places,” Burks said. “Just keep working as hard as we can, get better week by week, and just go out this Saturday and just approach Mississippi State like we did against Georgia and just compete.”