Razorbacks Report:

UA wants Little Rock to be rocking

By: Bob Holt , Tom Murphy
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Arkansas holds its Red vs White Game Saturday, April 7, 2018, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas holds its Red vs White Game Saturday, April 7, 2018, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

FAYETTEVILLE -- First-year University of Arkansas Coach Chad Morris sounded elated to be heading to Little Rock on Saturday for his first game at War Memorial Stadium.

The Razorbacks host Ole Miss at 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.

"I cannot wait to go down to our home stadium at War Memorial there in Little Rock on a Saturday night," Morris said. "I think it's the first time since 1999 that there will be a night SEC game.

"We're extremely excited about this. I know we're expecting the atmosphere to be incredible. The tailgating will be outstanding. The weather will be fabulous.

"But we need you in the stands for kickoff. We need you loud, we need you excited and we need this place to be rocking on Saturday night at 6:30."

Defensive coordinator John Chavis, the defensive coordinator at LSU in 2010 when the Razorbacks beat the Tigers 31-26 to clinch a Sugar Bowl bid, was a little more succinct in his remarks about his memories at War Memorial Stadium.

"Yeah, I got beat over there a couple of times, so we've got to go get a win," Chavis said. "That's my impression."

Injury update

Arkansas running back Devwah Whaley, who missed the last two games after sustaining a concussion at Auburn, and right tackle Brian Wallace (ankle) are expected to return for the Ole Miss game, Coach Chad Morris said.

Additionally, safety Santos Ramirez, who suffered a stinger in the fourth quarter against Alabama, is also expected to be back soon.

For Ole Miss, defensive backs Jaylon Jones (torn ACL), Montreal Custis (torn ACL) and CJ Moore (torn pectoral muscle) have all been lost for the season, and cornerback Ken Webster (hamstring) hasn't found his stride yet.

Additionally, starting strong safety C.J. Miller and starting corner Myles Hartsfield rolled their ankles in last week's 70-21 victory over Louisiana-Monroe.

"I think C.J. may be a little bit worse off than Miles," Coach Matt Luke said Monday. "Miles came back, C.J. did not. They'll try and go this week but we will know more as the week goes on, so they'll be day to day.

Rebels defensive end Victor Evans (ankle) is expected to return after missing last week's game.

Streak snapped

Arkansas snapped one of Alabama's more impressive streaks in Saturday's 65-31 loss.

The Razorbacks became the first team to score 30-plus points on the Crimson Tide since Clemson beat Alabama 35-31 in the College Football Playoff championship game at the end of the 2016 season.

Alabama's streak of 19 consecutive games of holding opponents to 29 points or less had been tied with Wisconsin for the longest in the nation. The Badgers extended their streak to 20 games with a 41-24 victory over Nebraska on Saturday.

Reynolds rip

Alabama's 65 points on Saturday were the most ever given up by Arkansas in 81 years of games at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

The 65-43 decision also tied for the third-most points ever scored against Arkansas behind a 103-0 loss at Oklahoma in 1918 and a 70-17 loss at USC in 2005.

Tube talk

The Razorbacks' home game against Tulsa on Oct. 20 will kick off at 11 a.m. and be shown on the SEC Network.

The 11 a.m. kickoff will be the third in four weeks for Arkansas, which also played Texas A&M and Alabama in morning games.

Couch QB

Offensive coordinator Joe Craddock said he almost called the Cole Kelley pass to Cheyenne O'Grady, which went for a 3-yard touchdown pass, on the play before, when Kelley came in on first and goal from the Alabama 6.

"Looking back on a Monday ... couch quarterback we'll call it, probably should've called that on first down," Craddock said. "Came to it on second down. I don't think they sniffed it out."

O'Grady said on Saturday the play was designed to go more vertical, but he saw a safety over the top and branched off to his left across the formation. Kelley fired in a hard throw with a defender on O'Grady's right hip and the junior hauled in his second touchdown of the game.

"Him and Cole worked it out," Craddock said. "Cole, he told me yesterday that he thought he was going to run the ball, but the last minute he saw C.J. came open. So I'd like to say that's how we drew it up but it's not. Those guys made a heck of a play and obviously we were able to get a touchdown out of it."

Advice from D-Mac

The latest Razorback to wear No. 5 talked to the greatest to wear the number before last Saturday's game.

"I did get to talk to Darren McFadden a little bit," said Rakeem Boyd, who had 15 carries for 102 yards against Alabama. "It pumped me up before the game.

"He just said, 'Keep doing you.' I went out there and did it."

McFadden -- a two-time Doak Walker Award winner and two-time Heisman Trophy finalist in 2006 and 2007 -- was honored before the game for being Arkansas' SEC Legend this year.

Boyd became the first Razorback since McFadden to rush for 100 or more yards against Alabama. McFadden had 195 yards in the Tide's 41-38 victory over Arkansas in 2007.

Best Bama offense

Arkansas defensive coordinator John Chavis, who faced Alabama for the 30th consecutive season, was asked Monday how the Crimson Tide's offense ranked among the units through all through all those years after they beat the Razorbacks 65-31.

"How can you say anything other than it's probably the best?" Chavis said.

"I think as you see they have kind of evolved to a different offense since when Coach [Nick] Saban got there. They were a big pro-style team, ran the ball. They still do some of that, but they are a lot more spread and more RPOs [run pass options].

"They've obviously got a very, very talented quarterback [Tua Tagovailoa] and he has got a lot of talent to get the ball to. They did a great job of preparation and a great job of executing."

Chavis was Tennessee's defensive coordinator in 1995 when the Volunteers played Ohio State -- led by Heisman Trophy-winning running back Eddie George and All-American offensive tackle Orlando Pace -- in the Citrus Bowl.

"I thought maybe at that time that was the best offense we ever played against," Chavis said. "I can't say that any longer."

Tennessee's defense held the Buckeyes in check in that bowl game and won 20-14.

Earlier in 1995, Florida beat Tennessee 62-37. That had been the most points scored against a team with Chavis as defensive coordinator before Alabama's 65-31 victory on Saturday.

Sports on 10/09/2018

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