Hogs host SJSU in Fayetteville
FAYETTEVILLE Historically it would mark a baby step.
Nonetheless it would make the Chad Morris regime Arkansas history if the 21-point favored Razorbacks defeat the San Jose State Spartans tonight. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. for the nonconference game at Reynolds Razorback Stadium televised by the SEC Network.
Arkansas, 2-1 in its first three 2019 college football Saturdays sandwiching 20-13 and 55-34 nonconference victories in Fayetteville over Portland State and Colorado State with a 31-17 SEC loss at Ole Miss wedged between, only went 2-10 in 2018. It marked Coach Morris’ first year heading a program that under Bret Bielema in 2017 slipped from preceding 8-5 and 7-6 seasons to 4-8 overall and just 1-7 in the SEC
So if the Razorbacks prevail over the 1-1 Spartans of the Mountain West Conference, they will exceed four games into Morris’ second season what they won his entire Year One.
Exceeding last year by one, one certainly is not the be all goal for these Hogs.
“You don’t say, ‘Oh, we won two games, that’s as many as we won last year,” junior center Ty Clary of Fayetteville said. “No one’s thought that. It’s how many can we win? This team is so hungry to win. Let’s try and win them all.”
Replying to a reporter’s question, Clary affirmed a convincing victory over this underdog Saturday would perk up the Hogs and their fans heading into the Sept. 28 SEC West battle
against the nationally No. 17 Texas A&M Aggies at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“To me the great teams, the teams that win national championships, typically run up the score on these (underdog) teams,” Clary said. “That’s something that we want to do. We want to dominate. We want momentum going into that Texas A&M game.”
Morris likes the confidence exuded compared to the by the 2018 season’s end hangdog Hogs, but cautions don’t get carried away.
“That was one game last week and we executed really well,” Morris said. “The challenge is can we string weeks together and put good days on top of good days?”
Off 2-10, Morris knows these Hogs better be concerned with winning and not by how much.”
“Our main goal is to win a football game Saturday night in front of our home crowd and defend our home stadium,” Morris said.
He has imparted such to his team.
them,” Clary said. “Their defensive front, they can play.”
Behind that SJS defensive front that Clary says plays so hard, the Spartans sport one of the nation’s best linebackers. SJS senior Ethan Aguayo leads the nation for tackles average per game, 17.0, totaling 34 tackles for the Spartans’ 35-18 victory over Northern Colorado and 34-16 loss to Tulsa.
“He’s all over the field,” Morris said. “Very aggressive, has a knack for the ball. Usually where the ball is, he’s close by or if not, he’s on hot pursuit to get there. He’s definitely caught our eyes, as has the other outside backer, Jesse Osuna.”
In fact, Arkansas offensive coordinator Joe Craddock said, “To me Osuna is the one who stands out. He’s violent. He flies to the ball.”
The Spartans come off an open date likely making their “pressure defense” more aggressive than ever, Morris said.
Offensively the open-date week allows Spartan Coach Brent Brennan time to incorporate freshman running quarterback Nick Nash, SJS’S leading rusher with
115 yards and a touchdown
on 13 carries, with starting senior passer Josh Love, 37 of 61 for 413 yards and three touchdowns vs. zero interceptions.
“We expect to see them both,” said junior backup linebacker Grant Morgan of Greenwood. “They like to throw the ball a lot. Their strength isn’t in the run game, but they’re going to run the ball because they saw what we did last week. We just have to be able to step up and play sound defense.”
Though pitching a fourth-quarter shutout, Arkansas yielded 425 yards total offense against Colorado State starting with CSU running back Marvin Kinsey’s second play from scrimmage 75-yard touchdown run.
Offensively, Arkansas strives to keep alive the momentum gained since Texas A&M graduate transfer quarterback Nick Starkel was elevated to quarterback. The Hogs amassed 520 yards of total offense against Colorado State and excelled on special teams.
Momentum finally seems theirs. They strive proving they can keep it.
Razorback junior quarterback Nick Starkel throws for a touchdown against Colorado State last Saturday afternoon at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. Starkel passed 20 of 35 for 305 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s win.
Razorback freshman wide receiver Treylon Burks, 16, moves the chains for a first down against Colorado State last Saturday afternoon at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. Burks led the receivers with 92 yards, adding four catches in last week’s win.