De­fen­sive end Gerald out for sea­son

The Saline Courier - - SPORTS - By Nate Allen

FAYET­TEVILLE — Arkansas se­nior start­ing de­fen­sive end Do­rian Gerald suf­fered a sea­so­nend­ing neck in­jury, Arkansas Coach Chad Mor­ris re­ported Mon­day, from the Ra­zor­backs’ 20-13 sea­son-open­ing vic­tory over Port­land State last Satur­day at Reynolds Ra­zor­back Sta­dium.

Gerald did not play in Satur­day’s sec­ond half and in­stead was hos­pi­tal­ized af­ter trainer Dave Polan­ski and the med­i­cal staff de­tected he had “strained an artery in his neck in the sec­ond quar­ter,” Mor­ris said Mon­day.

“Credit Dave and our train­ing staff and our doc­tors for being spot-on and on-point with ev­ery­thing,” Mor­ris said. “It (from the typ­i­cal foot­ball stand­point) is a very strange in­jury. He’ll be on blood thin­ner and will be out the rest of the year. We hope that he’ll be re­leased late tonight or tomorrow. We spent some time there Satur­day night and Sunday in the hos­pi­tal with Do­rian and his fam­ily.”

If proven med­i­cally fit again for foot­ball, Gerald, a sec­ond-year ju­nior-col­lege trans­fer, can red­shirt this sea­son and re­turn in 2020 as a fifth-year se­nior.

Se­nior Ja­mario Bell of Junc­tion City did most of the work at the end that Gerald had to va­cate and con­tributed one half of a quar­ter­back sack and was cred­ited with a quar­ter­back hurry forc­ing an in­com­plete pass.

How did Bell fare and does he likely start Satur­day’s 6:30 p.m. SEC Net­work tele­vised SEC opener for both the Ra­zor­backs and Ole Miss Rebels at Mis­sis­sippi’s Vaught-hem­ing­way

Sta­dium in Ox­ford?

“He did fine,” Arkansas de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor

John Chavis said Mon­day. “No­body played per­fect, but he did a good job for us.

“We had some young kids in there that did as well. We’ve got to pre­pare them all, but yeah he did a good job for us.”

Is Bell likely to start? “Yeah I would think so, maybe,” Chavis said. “I say maybe, but he cer­tainly was the next guy up in the game

and I don’t think that will change.”

With Bell in his first-ever Ra­zor­backs start and se­nior Gabe Richard­son on the other de­fen­sive flank, the backup de­fen­sive ends are all true fresh­men: Mataio Soli, Collin Clay, Zach Wil­liams and pos­si­bly Eric Gre­gory, in­jured an­kle in pre­sea­son, but im­proved to prac­tice on a lim­ited ba­sis this past game week.

All but Gre­gory played against Port­land State.

“We had some young kids in there,” Chavis said. “We’ve got to pre­pare them all.”

Soli broke a hand last Satur­day but can play with a cast, Mor­ris said.

Mor­ris said Soli had the cast on in Sunday’s light prac­tice.

Se­nior start­ing left guard Austin Capps of Star City, in­jured dur­ing last Satur­day’s game, should prac­tice this week and play against Ole Miss, Mor­ris said.

Se­nior Mackey Award can­di­date Cheyenne O’grady, mid-au­gust arthro­scopic knee in­jury and with­held from the game though prac­tic­ing cau­tion jer­sey lim­ited last week, should play against Ole Miss, Mor­ris said.

Ju­nior re­ceiver Jor­dan Jones of Smack­over, high an­kle sprain dur­ing the pre­sea­son, is “a cou­ple of weeks” away from play­ing, Mor­ris said.

For their per­for­mances against Port­land State, the FCS un­der­dog Mor­ris cred­ited, “hav­ing a good plan and play­ing hard and to the end like we knew they would,” Mor­ris said ju­nior run­ning back Ra­keem Boyd, 18 car­ries for 114 yards and a touch­down, was Arkansas’ of­fen­sive player of the game and that se­nior de­fen­sive tackle Sosa Agim, six tack­les in­clud­ing two sacks, and ju­nior strong safety Kam­ren Curl, an in­ter­cep­tion he re­turned 29 yards, and five tack­les in­clud­ing two sacks were the co-de­fen­sive play­ers of the game.

“Kam Curl and Sosa, both of these young men played about as well as I’ve seen these guys play since we’ve been here,” sec­ondyear coach Mor­ris said one game into his sec­ond Arkansas sea­son.

Of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor/ quar­ter­backs coach Joe Craddock said Mon­day that se­nior el­i­gi­bil­ity grad­u­ate trans­fer (SMU) quar­ter­back Ben Hicks, 14 of 29 with­out a turnover and 143 yards starts ahead of ju­nior el­i­gi­bil­ity grad­u­ate trans­fer Nick Starkel. Starkel, a grad­u­ate trans­fer via Texas A&M, was 4 of 5 with Arkansas’ long­est pass, 38 yards to fresh­man Trey Knox.

How­ever the one pass he didn’t com­plete for Arkansas was picked in the red zone squan­der­ing Curl’s 29-yard in­ter­cep­tion re­turn to the PSU 18.

“I don’t think Nick did any­thing to over­take Ben,” Craddock said. “I think if he goes in and throws a touch­down over the top in­stead of an in­ter­cep­tion, we may be talk­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent. Ben pro­tected the foot­ball and man­aged the game. Ob­vi­ously he missed a cou­ple of throws. It’s just about hit­ting the balls that are there.”

And maybe get­ting a lit­tle help from his friends.

“I counted about five drops and about three throw­aways,” Craddock said. “So you take that away from his stat line he’s up there in that 66 range of com­ple­tions. The three throw­aways, I’ve got to call a bet­ter play. The five drops, we’ve got to make those plays.

The Ra­zor­backs used Mon­day for their NCAA man­dated off day.

Today they hold their heav­i­est prac­tice of the week.

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