Hogs lose a cou­ple af­ter loss

The Saline Courier - - SPORTS - Ra­zor­back Re­port By Nate Allen

FAYET­TEVILLE — Since Arkansas’ 24-20 SEC loss to Ken­tucky last Satur­day night in Lex­ing­ton, Ken­tucky, Ra­zor­backs ju­nior line­backer D’vone Mcclure of Jack­sonville has with­drawn from the team while and true fresh­man cor­ner­back Devin Bush said he’s en­ter­ing the NCAA trans­fer por­tal.

Mcclure is rais­ing a son and cited fam­ily obli­ga­tions and aca­demics as his pur­suits now mi­nus foot­ball, Arkansas Coach Chad Mor­ris said Mon­day.

“I spoke with him last night, yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, and again late last night,” Mor­ris said at his Mon­day press con­fer­ence. “I think we all know his fam­ily sit­u­a­tion with his son. As he shared with me, ‘Coach I want to step away from foot­ball and I want to fo­cus on my aca­demics and fo­cus on get­ting a job to help sup­port my fam­ily.’ That was the way we left it at that time.”

First a fresh­man re­ceiver for Bret Bielema’s Ra­zor­backs in 2016 af­ter play­ing four years of mi­nor league base­ball within the Cleve­land In­di­ans’ or­ga­ni­za­tion, Mcclure with­drew from foot­ball in 2017 but re­turned in 2018 un­der new coach Mor­ris and played all 12 games at nickel back. He has played all six games for th­ese cur­rently 2-4 over­all, 0-3 in the SEC Ra­zor­backs at out­side line­backer/nickel back and spe­cial teams, and made 11 tack­les with one pass breakup and one quar­ter­back hurry.

Bush of New Or­leans ar­rived in Fayet­teville last Jan­uary as a 4-star rated De­cem­ber high school grad­u­ate. He has played on spe­cial teams in four games this sea­son and com­piled no sta­tis­tics.

“Af­ter speak­ing with my par­ents and coaches, I’ve made the de­ci­sion to of­fi­cially en­ter the trans­fer por­tal. Thank you Coach Mor­ris and the staff for all you have done.”

As for all re­main­ing, they’ve got a ma­jor task

be­lea­guered from last year’s 2-10, 0-8 in the SEC cam­paign, now 0-3 in the SEC com­ing off 31-27 and 24-20 SEC losses they be­lieve they could have won against Texas A&M and Ken­tucky and now be­set on con­sec­u­tive SEC West Satur­days by the na­tion­ally 11th-ranked Auburn Tigers, 5–1, 2-1 and com­ing off a bye week into an 11 a.m. game at Reynolds Ra­zor­back Sta­dium, then on Oct. 26 vis­it­ing the na­tion­ally No. 1/reign­ing SEC cham­pion Alabama Crim­son Tide in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

“It’s ob­vi­ously frus­trat­ing to come back in here af­ter we keep putting our­selves in po­si­tion to win games and we’re not string­ing things to­gether to fin­ish it,” Mor­ris said. “That’s our job as coaches. The only thing we can do is keep our head down and go back to work.”

And find a con­sis­tent quar­ter­back.

So far among grad­u­ate trans­fers Ben Hicks via

SMU and Nick Starkel via Texas A&M, Hicks started and strug­gled in the 20-13

vic­tory over lower di­vi­sion un­der­dog Portland State and af­ter a down 10-3 first half against Ole Miss was re­placed by Starkel from the sec­ond half of the 31-17 loss through a 55-34 vic­tory over Colorado State and Starkel’s three touch­downs but five in­ter­cep­tions in the 31-24 loss to three-touch­down un­der­dog San Jose State. Hicks came on for an in­jured Starkel and played bet­ter than Starkel in the 31-27 loss to Texas A&M and from the fi­nal 3:16 of the third quar­ter on re­lieved a strug­gling Starkel against Ken­tucky and com­pleted 5 of 8 passes for 81 yards to Starkel’s 7 of 19 for 41 yards.

Mor­ris will use this week’s prac­tices to des­ig­nate Satur­day’s starter against Auburn.

“Nick and Ben will get the one reps,” Mor­ris said. “They were in here last night and ev­ery­body was ready to get back, which was very en­cour­ag­ing. So, with those guys get­ting a share of the one reps this week, I think the whole thing is con­sis­tency as a team, con­sis­tency as an of­fense. That’s re­ally kind of what we’re look­ing for in this.”

Red­shirt fresh­man John

Stephen Jones and true fresh­man KJ Jef­fer­son, cur­rently on sched­ule to red­shirt, con­tinue prac­tic­ing at quar­ter­back be­hind Starkel and Hicks, but so far have not played.

Mor­ris was asked about ju­nior run­ning back Ra­keem Boyd, 15 car­ries for 134 yards and two touch­downs against Ken­tucky but also in­jur­ing his shoul­der, and se­nior left of­fen­sive tackle Colton Jack­son miss­ing the Ken­tucky game be­cause of con­cus­sion pro­to­col af­ter miss­ing the Sept. 21 game with San Jose State be­cause of con­cus­sion pro­to­col.

“Ra­keem, I think is run­ning the ball as ef­fec­tive as any­body in the con­fer­ence,”

Mor­ris said. “I think his tough­ness level speaks for it­self, es­pe­cially play­ing through the (shoul­der) in­jury that he had last year. We an­tic­i­pate him be­ing fine this week and back out there.”

What about Jack­son who has been idled since the open date week af­ter the Sept. 28 loss to Texas A&M?

“I an­tic­i­pate him play­ing this week back into that start­ing ro­ta­tion,” Mor­ris said. “But it (con­cus­sion pro­to­col) was some­thing that’s been car­ry­ing on for a few weeks with him. We wanted to make sure he’s back fully healthy be­fore he’s ready to go.”

CRAVEN WHITLOW/NATE Allen Sports Ser­vice

Arkansas Ra­zor­backs de­fender D’vone Mcclure, 36, at­tempts to make a tackle in a game last sea­son. Mcclure has de­cided to walk away from the Hogs, due to “fam­ily obli­ga­tions.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.