Hogs getting back to full health with bye-week help
FAYETTEVILLE — The Arkansas Razorbacks come off last week’s open date with their receivers roster restocked but a couple of starting offensive not yet indelibly inked to start Saturday night’s SEC game at Lexington, Kentucky.
The Kentucky Wildcats, 2-3, 0-3 in the SEC East and also coming off an open date week, and the Razorbacks, 2-3, 0-2 in the SEC West, collide at 6:30 p.m. Saturday on SEC Network television from Kentucky’s Kroger Field.
Arkansas senior left offensive tackle Colton Jackson of Conway and junior center Ty Clary of Fayetteville both were in concussion protocol during last week’s open-week drills and still not cleared to practice when Coach Chad Morris’ Razorbacks began gameweek practices Sunday.
The Razorbacks used Monday as their NCAA mandated one day a week off with hope that Jackson and Clary would be good to go for Tuesday’s practice.
“We anticipate Ty being back at practice,” Morris said at Monday’s press conference. “Same way with Colton Jackson. We’ll see both of those guys but we anticipate those guys being back.”
use. “He plays the game, he plays the game in front of him probably about as good as anybody in the game.”
Carlos Martínez gave St. Louis a lift after Acuña led off the ninth with a double, retiring three in a row. The closer took the loss Sunday when he gave up three runs in the ninth.
Game 1 starter Miles Mikolas worked the 10th for the win.
Dansby Swanson had two hits and scored twice for Atlanta, which has dropped its last nine postseason rounds — just one off the major league record held by the Chicago Cubs. It is trying to advance to the franchise’s first NL Championship
Series since 2001.
“We battled and we gave ourselves a chance,” Swanson said. “We just weren’t able to get it done today.”
St. Louis got off to a fast start, delighting the crowd of 42,203 on a picturesque October afternoon. Goldschmidt drove a 3-1 changeup from Dallas Keuchel deep to left with two out in the first, and Ozuna followed with a laser into the second deck in left for a 2-0 lead.
It was the first set of consecutive playoff homers for the Cardinals since Wong and Randal Grichuk accomplished the feat in Game 2 of the 2015 NLDS against the Chicago Cubs.
The Braves got one back on Albies’ sacrifice fly in the third, but Ozuna led off the fourth with another drive to left for the first multihomer playoff game for a Cardinals player since Carlos Beltran in Game 2 of the 2012 NLDS against Washington.
Ozuna is batting .471 (8 for 17) with four RBIS in his first career postseason series.
Pitching on three days of rest, Keuchel allowed three runs and four hits in 3 1/3 innings in his 11th career postseason start. Joe Craddock was equally optimistic Monday given the two have been recovering since reported injured after the 31-27 loss to Texas A&M on Sept. 28 at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“I fully expect Ty and Colton to be back and be ready to go,” Craddock said. “We’ll know more after practice (today) but I would be shocked if they didn’t play.”
Freshman Trey Knox, 21 catches for 299 yards and two touchdowns in four games before missing the Texas A&M game with an injured hip, junior receiver Jordan Jones of Smackover, considered the fastest Razorbacks but sidelined the first five games by a severe ankle sprain requiring August surgery during preseason drills, and presumably junior receiver/kick returner De’vion Warren, concussion after the Sept. 21 loss to San Jose State, all figure in this week’s game plan.
“We should be full capacity in our wide receiver room for the first time in quite some time, which is good to see,” Morris said Monday.
The numbers will help, Craddock said, given the workload that sophomore Mike Woods, 17 catches for 239 yards and a touchdown, and freshman Treylon Burks, 13 catches for 220 yards and missing the San Jose State game injured, have borne.
“We had guys (against Texas A&M) play 71 plays at receiver,” Craddock said. “That’s way too many.”
Morris and Craddock both cited junior Tyson Morris, the West Helena native and Fayetteville High grad, for coming through with nine catches for 118 yards and a touchdown easing the numbers crunch from all the downed receivers starting with losing senior Deon Stewart for the season, injured early during the August preseason.
“No. 1, Tyson’s a tremendous worker,” Morris, who rewarded walk-on Morris with a scholarship at the season’s outset, said. “He’s a great leader. As you look at how he has helped this football team, with us losing Deon in fall camp, someone
had to step in that role. And then Jordan went out. So Tyson’s role just kept elevating. He played 50-something snaps the last game.”
Craddock said Morris has played all three wideout positions.
“That just shows you how he’s prepared,” Craddock said. “I can’t say enough good things about what he did.”
On adding Jones to the receiver mix, Morris said, “We hope he’ll provide an opportunity to stretch the field vertically for us. He’s obviously one of the fastest players on our team. So to get him back full speed would be a huge addition for us.”
Arkansas’ best defensive lineman, senior D-tackle Mctelvin “Sosa” Agim via Hope, used the open date week to refresh from five games battling aches and pains and double-teams before practicing Sunday.
“I anticipate him being full-go,” Morris said. “I think where he is and how well he’s playing right now, it would take something really substantial to keep him out of a game. I think he’s having a really good year, with an opportunity to have a great year.”
Welcoming back injured freshman defensive end
Zach Williams as healthy again, defensive coordinator John Chavis anticipates a defensive roster full-go other than ones like defensive end Dorian Gerald, out for the season since injured during the Aug. 31 season-opening victory over Portland State.
ARKANSAS VS. AUBURN EARLY KICKOFF
The SEC announced Monday that the Oct. 19 Arkansas vs. Auburn Tigers SEC West game that Arkansas hosts at Reynolds Razorback Stadium will kick off at 11 a.m. and be televised by the SEC Network.
Razorback junior wide receiver Tyson Morris, 19, dives across the goal line for a touchdown against San Jose State at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.