Razorbacks report:

Enos: Feet a weakness for Kelley

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Arkansas quarterback Cole Kelley (15) runs off the field at halftime of the Razorbacks' 52-20 loss to Auburn on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas quarterback Cole Kelley (15) runs off the field at halftime of the Razorbacks' 52-20 loss to Auburn on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Freshman Cole Kelley might get a third consecutive start at quarterback for the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday at Ole Miss with senior Austin Allen still questionable with a right shoulder injury.

Kelley has completed 46 of 81 passes (56.8 percent) since taking over for Allen in the fourth quarter at South Carolina three weeks ago. He has thrown for 503 yards, with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, in that span. He's been sacked 11 times in the past two games against Alabama and Auburn.

Offensive coordinator Dan Enos said "there's so much positive with Cole Kelley," while pointing out his teachable moments from Saturday's 52-20 loss to Auburn.

"We've got to clean up his footwork," Enos said. "There were some great examples -- good and bad -- from Saturday. Basically, if we had a negative play, a lot of it had to do with his own self. With his feet."

Kelley fumbled the ball on three of his six sacks against Auburn; the Tigers recovered two of them and cashed both in for touchdowns.

"Getting him to move forward, two hands on the ball, eyes downfield," Enos said. "Those three things ... I preach every single day to that position. As soon as your eyes come down, you're not a passer anymore. As soon as you have one hand on the ball, you don't have good ball security anymore. And as soon as you're not moving forward in the pocket, you're moving backwards, your feet aren't going to be in the right spot to deliver the ball with accuracy and velocity."

Injury report

In addition to season-ending injuries to center Frank Ragnow and tailback Chase Hayden, the Razorbacks are dealing with dings to offensive linemen, as well as tight end Jack Kraus and safety De'Andre Coley.

Coach Bret Bielema said offensive lineman Johnny Gibson's knee felt better after Saturday's game than it has since the injury at South Carolina, and he should be in position for a full week of practice. Tackle Brian Wallace "should be fine," Bielema said, after coming out briefly against Auburn.

Kraus (head) is expected back at practice at some point this week along with Coley (ankle). Junior fullback Kendrick Jackson returned to campus Sunday night after dealing with the passing of his mother Thursday.

Tempo flags?

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville offensive coordinator Dan Enos said a couple of the unit's false start penalties Saturday might have been triggered by the faster tempo that freshman quarterback Cole Kelley prefers.

"I think so, yeah," Enos said. "I think there were may be one or two that might have been generated by that. Not all of them, but a couple of them, absolutely."

Tackle Paul Ramirez drew two false start calls and guard Johnny Gibson had one false start among the offense's six penalties for 45 yards against Auburn.

"I think the guys got a little antsy. I know there was one where somebody was misaligned and we were trying to get him realigned and then the cadence took an extra long time, which guys then get a little bit jumpy," Enos said. "So a little bit on the tempo and a little bit on us just being a little bit unaware and not having a guy lined up in the right spot."

Tube talk

The Arkansas home game against Coastal Carolina on Nov. 4 will have a 3 p.m. kickoff at Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network alternate channel.

The Chanticleers have a 1-6 record heading into Saturday's homecoming game against Texas State. Coastal Carolina has lost six games in a row since beating UMass 38-28 in the season opener.

Ranked opponents

Bret Bielema's Arkansas teams have played exactly half of their 58 games against ranked opponents. The Razorbacks are 7-22 in those 29 games.

The Razorbacks have been outscored 121-36 vs. ranked TCU, Alabama and Auburn this year for an average score of 40-12.

Rebel runners

Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads is impressed with top Ole Miss tailback Jordan Wilkins, a 6-1, 217-pound senior who has 468 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

But Wilkins has an ankle injury and probably will not try to practice on it until later in the week, Ole Miss interim Coach Matt Luke said Monday.

"I'm hoping Jordan can play, it's just with that ankle you just don't know," Luke said. "So he probably won't practice until Wednesday or Thursday."

Rhoads called Wilkins a "really, really good player. I think he has deceptive speed. I think he has exceptional vision. I think he's got great patience in allowing the run game to develop."

Stopped at 19

Auburn had been 19 for 19 in red-zone scoring in conference games until the Razorbacks' goal-line stand in the second quarter.

The Tigers entered the game 17 of 17 in red-zone scoring in four SEC games, with 13 touchdowns and 4 field goals. Auburn added a 15-yard touchdown run and Daniel Carlson's 21-yard field goal to that tally before the stop inside the Arkansas 2 midway through the second quarter.

On fourth and 1 from the Arkansas 2, linebacker Dre Greenlaw and end Jonathan Marshall put up a wall against running back Kerryon Johnson's leap over center and stopped his progress at the 2.

Stat check

Arkansas is No. 84 in total defense (410.7 yards per game) and No. 99 in total offense (360.6) entering Week 9.

The Razorbacks are No. 65 in rushing (160.7) and tied for No. 89 in passing (199.9). They are No. 71 in scoring (27.4).

On defense, Arkansas is No. 98 (197.6) against the run, No. 59 against the pass (213.1) and No. 110 in scoring (35.7).


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