Razorback Roundup: Week 8


-DriveTime Sports and former Razorback Sports Information Director, Rick Schaffer was hospitalized but was released today after having a procedure for a stint. He is doing well and should be back on DriveTime Sports later this week.
-Arkansas football players discussed via Twitter about player safety at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Injury Update:
Devwah Whaley had ankle surgery after suffering an ankle injury in the Ole Miss game. Whaley is anticipated to return in November. Whaley rushed for 68 yards on Saturday.
Rakeem Boyd suffered a back injury during the Ole Miss game Saturday. Boyd tweeted late Sunday evening that all is well. Coach Morris announced he will be available Saturday.
Ty Storey suffered a handful of injuries Saturday during the Ole Miss game but his last injury is the one that took him out of the game. He is going through reported concussion protocol. Coach Morris and offensive coordinator, Joe Craddock said that starting a freshman quarterback Saturday could happen. It would likely be true freshman quarterback, Connor Noland receiving the nod.
What is Coach Morris saying after the loss to Ole Miss:
“We challenged our kids and our staff to get the fans in the game and keep them in the game. The effort and energy from the crowd was inspiring.” Obviously, despite the cold, wet and rainy day, War Memorial was almost filled to capacity with fans cheering on their 1-5 Razorbacks. Being in the crowd myself, there were points I had chills go up and down my body when the Hogs were called. The fun of dancing and jumping to whatever the DJ played with fellow Hog fans I did not know. Man, we ate it up. Fans from all around said showed up to make Little Rock an incredible atmosphere despite the number of obstacles that set in front of them.
“Offensively, we challenged the guys to start fast and it was the first time in a while that we did. Ty’s toughness was impressive. We did not execute well enough, though, regardless of what the stats say. We did have 15 explosive plays, and that can cover up things. In the second half we couldn’t get the ball in the end zone, and that was disappointing. It’s hard to trade field goals for touchdowns.” Did the offense ever start fast? After a coming out party of sorts for Ty Storey and the Razorback offense last Saturday against Alabama, they began quick again. My apologies to every Hog fan there was and I will eat the crow for it but I was totally wrong for underestimating Storey. The guy has IT and is running this offense at a higher level than Cole Kelley, who I predicted to set the world on fire. The stats from his redshirt freshman compared to others were there to support my claim to Kelley being the best quarterback on campus. Before being injured, Storey was a blistering hot 12/16 passing and two touchdowns. He was very good passing and an effective runner in certain situations. Ty, if you read this, I am very sorry for underestimating you. Rakeem Boyd was set to check allenge Darren McFadden for the rushing yardage record before being injured in the 1st quarter. 7 carries and 106 yards (69 yards on the touchdown run), Boyd is lightning in a bottle and is the one who will make this offense go. The biggest offensive play of the ball game was the third down play where Kelley threw a slant pattern pass to Michael Woods that was right on the money but dropped. If that third down conversion had been made, Arkansas could have potentially run the clock out but should have, could have, would have. The Hogs were explosive on offense again though with 33 points and 400 plus yards. Look for the Hogs to continue their offensive growth against Tulsa this weekend in Fayetteville.
“Defensively, we played well, gave up one big drive right before the half. We had to try to get Jordan Ta’amu off his spot, and when we did he beat us. They had 13 explosive plays. We struggled to stay with their receivers across the middle. We just didn’t make the plays to get it done. We needed one stop and one touchdown and we were unable to do it.” Scoota Harris has done it again. Harris recorded 10 tackles and a sack on Saturday vs. Ole Miss. This Harris’ sixth double digit tackle game of the season. Arkansas badly needs Harris and Greenlaw to stay heathy if the Hogs plan to stop any team defensively.
“I’m excited to get back to Fayetteville this weekend. There are a lot of similarities in Arkansas and Tulsa’s seasons to this point. First of three straight games in Fayetteville.” Arkansas and Tulsa both blew double digit leads in the fourth quarter this past weekend on their home turfs. This opens up their last three Fayetteville games of the season with Vanderbilt on the 27th and LSU on November 10th. This weekend, Arkansas has a big time official visitor in Clemson graduate transfer quarterback, Kelly Bryant. Many consider Arkansas to land the services of this championship caliber quarterback.
“Maleek Williams did not travel to the game in Little Rock. We did not execute in the run game late like we did early. It wasn’t as consistent as early on in the game.” In a game where there first and second team running backs were lost for the game, depth became an issue. With Williams staying at home is why he did not play on Saturday. “Overall knowledge of the offense and pass protection is what Williams has to improve upon to get on the field more regularly. He’s gotten lots of second team reps”, Morris later went on to say about the redshirt freshman quarterback.
Chad Morris started his college coaching career as offensive coordinator for Coach Todd Graham at Tulsa. Here is what he had to say about his time there: “Tulsa is a special place to me. There’s a lot of great people. I wasn’t there very long, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without those people.”
Many who watched Saturday, whether it were in person or on TV noticed the struggle Santos Ramirez had on Saturday with open field tackling. Coach Morris recapped that saying: “Santos is as critical on himself as anyone in the program. He’s a great leader on this team. He’s got to get better at tackling and leveraging the football. He and I talked yesterday. He said, ‘I’ve got to keep getting better.’ Joe Foucha and Myles Mason are getting better, but you want experience in a game like that.” Watch for Foucha and Mason to get a little more playing time down the home stretch of the season for the Hogs If Ramirez does not shore up his tackling.
Chavis had a few things to say in his portion of the Monday recap stating this about his defense: “Everybody’s tackling needs to improve. If that weren’t the case we’d just go play and there wouldn’t be a need for practice. There’s not a single player on this team that doesn’t need fundamentals work. We work on tracking and things each week. I have to do a better job, too, having our guys ready to go in the fourth quarter. We can and we will get better. It’s not just Santos, it’s everybody.”
Craddock said some of the same things that Morris did but I thought this was very funny and worth the addition, “I don’t want any of my guys getting banged up. I think there’s times in a game to go get a first down and other times when you need to slide. I can’t say enough good things about Ty. He was asking Morris when he got to the sideline after coming out of the game following the big hit if he picked up the first down.” After the game, Morris quoted Storey as a gamer and that he was Saturday. The man was automatic and just looking to make a play, score and win the ball game. Storey is a good kid and everyone in the state wants to see him succeed as the starting quarterback. He will continue to get better and prove all of us wrong about his ability to be a SEC West caliber quarterback.
That is all for the Razorback Roundup! Thanks for joining me and have a great night!
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