1. Chad Morris will be in his second season as head coach. Frank Broyles once said, “A good coach wins by his second season.” I definitely believe Morris will win next season. The guy has to win and have been very close to finally breaking through during the season. Whether it was Ole Miss, Texas A&M or LSU this team has been very close and are getting better. If Arkansas can finish off the season with a couple of victories, there is no reason why fans can not think the Hogs could not go 5-0 before going into the 2019 Southwest Classic against Texas A&M.
2. John chavis’ defense will continue to improve with the mixture of young new talent and some quality veterans. The numbers are there besides the two games with Alabama and Ole Miss (the two best offenses in the SEC), the Arkansas defense is markedly improved at all positions. With the added talent and increased depth, Arkansas could have a banner season in 2019.
3. Rakeem Boyd for Heisman?! Maybe we should pump the breaks there but Boyd is a straight baller who is destined for great things in the NFL. First, he must stay healthy and prove he can be an every down SEC back. He’s and he a a handful of 100 yard performances so far and should only get better in 2019.
4. The offensive line completes its rebuild and mauls its opponents. It has been musical chairs at offensive line since the great Sam Pittman left. Arkansas fans have mostly been hostile to offensive line coach, Dustin Fry but for all the wrong reasons. He inherited a mess at the beginning of the season but has really turned things around on the line. No longer is it musical chairs but guys are staying healthy, getting better and becoming solid offensive lineman. Coach Fry will prove that to us. The 2019 crop of offensive lineman will not make anyone’s eyes pop out because they were not highly recruited but these men coming in for next season are solid and will compete in the 2-deep. Watch out for the 2020 class because Fry is building relationships with several kids from Memphis who do have what fans want to see, high star ratings on the recruiting sites.
5. Connor Noland explodes (in a good way) as the quarterback.
6. Out of the great wide receiver class, two of them show out early on to create great depth. This would help ease the pressure off Jordan Jones, Mike Woods and LaMichael Pettway.
7. Bumper Pool, Scoota Harris and a highly recruited JUCO stud linebacker create the best trio of linebackers in the conference.
8. No big injuries. In the past few seasons, the Hogs faced injuries that would impact their season before it even started. Knile Davis in 2011, Jonathan Williams in 2015, Dennis Johnson in 2010, Freddy Fairchild in 2007, Dre Greenlaw in 2016. Many come to mind but in 2019, the Hogs finally figure out how to keep their best players healthy.
9. Two defensive lineman make the SEC All-Freshman team. With the amount of 4 ⭐️ defensive linemen coming in the 2019 class (9), surely two of them could be outstanding. Tauren Carter, Enoch Jackson, Eric Gregory and Collin Clay have the size to compete right away in the SEC.
10. Cheyenne O’Grady proves he is the best tight end to come out of Arkansas, ever. I mean, do I have to go into more detail? Yeah, Hudson will be only a freshman and will definitely put on a show. 2019 will be the year of O’Grady for sure.
11. The cornerbacks are doubted due to their youth (The majority of them are considered underclasmen) but begin to shutdown passing games by mid-October.
12. Arkansas wins every game played in the state of Arkansas in 2019. Portland State, Western Kentucky, Colorado State, Missouri, Auburn, San Jose State and Mississippi State are all played in Fayetteville or Little Rock.
13. Arkansas and Texas A&M play to overtime again but the Hogs AGAIN lose in the Southwest Classic.
14. Arkansas will average 410 yards and 38 points on offense per game.
15. The defense uses their new found speed on the edges to finish in the top half of the SEC in sacks.
16. TJ Hammonds is finally used properly and breaks out as weapon in both the run, pass and return teams.
17. K.J. Jefferson plays in 4 games throughout the season and shows out with every opportunity. Fans can not wait for 2020 because it could get go from good to really good in Fayetteville!
18. Sixty percent of Arkansas’ freshman class competes for every spot on the 2-deep and then prove their worth as many of them are announced as starters for the remainder of the season.
19. Arkansas will be sitting 5-5 on the season heading into their final two home games and pulls off two victories over Mississippi State and Missouri to head to a bowl game.
Hope you Hog fans enjoyed this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. What other reasons do you think Arkansas would be better in 2019?