Razorbacks Report:

Storey shows poise, confidence as SEC play rolls on

By: Bob Holt , Tom Murphy
Published: Friday, October 12, 2018
Arkansas quarterback Ty Storey looks toward the video board during a game against Alabama on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas quarterback Ty Storey looks toward the video board during a game against Alabama on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Fayetteville.

— Arkansas junior quarterback Ty Storey had been completing less than 50 percent of his passes entering last Saturday’s game against No. 1 Alabama.

Storey showed poise in the pocket and confidence in the game plan to hit 25 of 39 passes for 230 yards and 2 touchdowns in the 65-31 loss to the Tide.

Arkansas racked up the highest total yardage (405) and the most points given up by Alabama this season.

“He’s growing. He getting more confident in everything he’s doing,” offensive coordinator Joe Craddock said.

“You can see Ty’s progression and how he’s growing in confidence,” Ole Miss Coach Matt Luke said. “I really think a lot of him and how tough he is. He’s taken some shots and he keeps on going.”

Storey improved his completion rate to 54.8 percent (69 of 126) with the Alabama performance.

“The more he plays, the more comfortable he gets,” Arkansas Coach Chad Morris said before pointing out that Storey’s ball security must improve after he lost two fumbles and threw a tipped interception the Tide returned for a touchdown.

Super efficient

Jordan Ta’amu ranks 15th in the nation in passing efficiency with a 168.68 rating, but he doesn’t lead his team in the statistic.

Reserve quarterback Matt Corrall has been sharp in backup duty, including a 10-of-10 performance for 143 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Rebels’ 70-21 victory over Louisiana-Monroe. His efficiency rating of 268.47 would lead the nation, slightly ahead of Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa’s 249.2, if he had enough passes to qualify.

The Rebels lead the SEC and are fifth nationally with 347.5 passing yards per game and their team passing efficiency of 174.7 ranks ninth.

Take a shot

Arkansas kick returner De’Vion Warren had fair catches or touchbacks on Alabama’s first 10 kickoffs Saturday before Chad Morris told him to bring back No. 11.

“Coach said, ‘We’ve got nothing to lose, come on let’s get some motivation and return one,’ ” Warren said. “They kicked it and we blocked it good as a team.”

Warren returned the kickoff 78 yards to the Alabama 22 to set up Cole Kelley’s 1-yard touchdown run with 13 seconds left.

“It was good to be able to make an impact like that in the game,” Warren said. “Even late like it was.”

Offensive chops

Ole Miss will mark the third consecutive opponent ranked in the top 10 in the nation in total offense the Razorbacks will face.

The Rebels generate 540.8 yards per game and rank seventh in the country in that department and 16th in scoring with 42.3 points per game.

Texas A&M also ranked seventh in the nation in total offense, with 545.5 yards per game, before defeating Arkansas 24-17 two weeks ago. Alabama was fifth in total offense with 553.2 yards per game before improving that with 639 yards in its 65-31 victory over the Razorbacks.

Stopped cold

Linebacker Dre Greenlaw was rightfully credited with the first hit and De’Jon Harris got an assist on the fourth-and-1- stop of Damien Harris for no gain early in the second quarter of Saturday’s game against Alabama.

However, a group effort by the Arkansas defense led to the change of possession. Armon Watts, lined up as a nose guard, and McTelvin Agim, in an outside shade technique on the right guard, both got penetration at the point of attack, while T.J. Smith, who was line up on the backside, clogged a cut-back opportunity by defeating a double team. Agim also held the point against another double team.

Greenlaw, at the line shaded to the outside of right tackle Jedrick Willis Jr., slashed in behind Willis, who was double-teaming Agim, and powered through a block attempt by back Brian Robinson Jr. to halt Harris’ momentum. Harris quickly diagnosed the lead play and cleaned up the tackle after the Hogs’ linemen moved the line of scrimmage back a half-yard.

Nine newcomers?

Arkansas Coach Chad Morris was asked Wednesday about the potential for as many as nine December signees to enroll in January and participate in spring practices.

“I think any time you can add to your roster at midterm it allows those young men to focus on obviously the development of being a college student and the transition that it takes,” Morris said.

Turnover takeaways

Ole Miss has a large statistical advantage over Arkansas in the turnover department. The Rebels rank just ahead of the Razorbacks in turnovers gained with 11 to Arkansas’ 10.

However, Ole Miss has lost only six turnovers to the Razorbacks’ 14, which is last in the SEC and 118th in the country. The Rebels’ turnover margin of plus 0.83 per game is good for 18th in the nation, while the Razorbacks are minus 0.67 in that department to rank 110th in the country and 12th in the SEC.

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