Razorbacks rewind:

Another shutout for Chavis

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Monday, October 22, 2018
Arkansas Razorbacks defensive back Ryan Pulley (11) reacts after intercepting a pass intended for Tulsa Golden Hurricane wide receiver Keylon Stokes (2) during the second quarter of a football game, Saturday, October 20, 2018 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
Photo by Charlie Kaijo
Arkansas Razorbacks defensive back Ryan Pulley (11) reacts after intercepting a pass intended for Tulsa Golden Hurricane wide receiver Keylon Stokes (2) during the second quarter of a football game, Saturday, October 20, 2018 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- University of Arkansas defensive coordinator John Chavis posted the 15th shutout in his 24th season as an SEC coordinator on Saturday.

But the Arkansas defense had to dig down deep in the final minute to preserve its 23-0 whitewash of Tulsa at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

Chavis shutouts

• A look at the 15 shutouts posted by defenses coordinated by John Chavis since he became Tennessee defensive coordinator in 1995:

year Score Team Opponent

1995 31-0 Tennessee Oklahoma St.

1995 42-0 Tennessee Southern Miss.

1998 41-0 Tennessee at Vanderbilt

1999 24-0 Tennessee Auburn

2001 38-0 Tennessee Vanderbilt

2002 24-0 Tennessee at Vanderbilt

2002 24-0 Tennessee Kentucky

2003 48-0 Tennessee Vanderbilt

2009 42-0 LSU Tulane

2010 51-0 LSU La.-Monroe

2014 56-0 LSU S. Houston St.

2014 31-0 LSU La.-Monroe

2015 25-0 Texas A&M at Vanderbilt

2016 67-0 Texas A&M Prairie View

2018 23-0 Arkansas Tulsa

The Razorbacks had not allowed Tulsa to drive past the Arkansas 40 on nine consecutive series before quarterback Seth Boomer hit Keylon Stokes for 65 yards down the Tulsa sideline to reach the Arkansas 14 in the final minute.

With starting cornerback Jarques McClellion injured on the long reception, the Razorbacks had all reserves except for defensive lineman McTelvin Agim in the game, including defensive backs Montaric Brown, Britto Tutt, Joe Foucha and Myles Mason, on the next four plays.

Stokes caught a 1-yard pass on the next snap, the Boomer was pressured out of the pocket and ran for 2 yards to the 11.

On third down, Boomer felt pressure from Agim, who was reaching out for the quarterback's legs, and threw incomplete. The pocket collapsed quickly on fourth down and Agim posted his second sack of the game, a 7-yard loss to finish off the shutout.

Chavis, who turned 62 last week, said last Monday at his weekly news conference that he was looking forward to being able to smile a little. He'll get that opportunity today as the Razorbacks begin preparations for Saturday's 11 a.m. game against Vanderbilt.

Chavis defenses have posted five shutouts against the Commodores, more than any other team, over the years.

Chavis' defenses had 8 shutouts at Tennessee between 1995-2008, 4 shutouts at LSU between 2009-14, and 2 shutouts at Texas A&M between 2014-17.

Bryant's day

Graduate transfer quarterback Kelly Bryant, the headline prospect for the Razorbacks on Saturday, seemed to have a ball.

Bryant was spotted celebrating a key sack, calling the Hogs as Arkansas closed out its 23-0 victory and hanging out on the sideline with former Razorbacks quarterback Ryan Mallett, 2019 tight end pledge Hudson Henry, and members of the current team.

After the victory, Arkansas Coach Chad Morris, who recruited Bryant to Clemson in 2014, said he couldn't wait to "show off Fayetteville" to the recruits who came to the game.

"I think the biggest message that I want any recruit to hear ... is, 'Man, just look at the passion, just look at the love for this university that's all across our state,' " Morris said. "You can just walk and feel it and see it and it's evident.

"As I tell them, just open your eyes and open your ears. Because what we're doing in this program and building a foundation and what great things are coming, and coming every day as we continue to get better, to be a part of something extremely special."

Easy TD

Quarterback Connor Noland described his 7-yard blitz-beating touchdown pass to tight end Grayson Gunter in the second quarter as one of the simplest in his career.

The Golden Hurricane brought pressure from strong-side linebacker Diamon Cannon and Gunter released out behind him on the third-and-4 play.

"That was probably the easiest touchdown I've had," Noland said. "They had Sam fire, they blitzed him, so there was nobody on him. So you just had to get the ball up and over. It was good to get that first one out of the way and really exciting."

Storey status

Quarterback Ty Storey made progress throughout last week and practiced without contact like normal Tuesday and Wednesday, but he did not clear concussion protocol by Thursday, so he did not dress out for the 23-0 victory over Tulsa.

Freshman Connor Noland and sophomore Cole Kelley split the reps at quarterback, with Noland starting and taking most of the work.

Coach Chad Morris said he thought Storey would bounce back this week.

"We definitely missed Ty today," Morris said. "We missed his presence, but his presence on the sideline was very much felt. He was there ... encouraging Connor.

"He was right there communicating with the team. That's what we expected out of Ty. That's who he is. He's every bit as excited for this football team as anybody. So we anticipate Ty being right back out there ready to go [Sunday night] and picking back up and starting for us this next week."

TE TD streak

Grayson Gunter's 7-yard second-quarter touchdown catch, his first as a collegian, gave Arkansas tight ends four touchdown catches in the last three games and five on the season.

Cheyenne O'Grady had two touchdown catches against Alabama, from 8 and 3 yards, then caught a 39-yard scoring strike from Ty Storey against Ole Miss last week.

Austin Cantrell posted a 42-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the season opener against Eastern Illinois.

Kicking gains

The Razorbacks played a sound game on special teams outside of Nate Dalton's unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which got him sent to the locker room in the second quarter.

Deon Stewart had a 29-yard punt return, kicker Connor Limpert made all three of his field goal tries and the coverage teams did well.

"Special teams, we continue to grow," Coach Chad Morris said. "We continue to make positive impacts. You've seen all units working together there and we'll continue to improve on this."

The kick coverage team helped pin Tulsa deep throughout the third quarter, when Arkansas took full command of the game.

The Golden Hurricane had a holding penalty on the second-half kickoff, forcing them to start at their own 10. Sam Crawford Jr. mishandled each of the next two kickoffs and paid the price. De'Vone McClure drilled him at the Tulsa 4 after an Arkansas field goal, then Ryder Lucas dropped him at the 10 after Maleek Williams' touchdown put the Hogs ahead 20-0.

Getting kicks

Junior Connor Limpert stretched his streak of made field goals to 10 with boots of 33, 35 and 24 yards against Tulsa.

Limpert has made all of his field goals since missing a 40-yard try at Auburn in Week 4, including 3 of 3 from 40 yards or longer.

The Allen, Texas, product is tied for fifth in the country with 1.9 field goals made per game and he's tied for 22nd with a success rate of 83.3 percent (15 of 18). He also ranks 15th in FBS scoring with 68 points and is 23 of 23 on extra points.

Limpert's career-best 54-yard field goal against North Texas is tied for the fourth-longest in the country this season, behind Missouri's Tucker McCann (57) and Colorado State's Wyatt Bryan (55) and Pitt's Alex Kessman (55).

23-0 stats

Arkansas won 23-0 for the fifth time in school history. The other 23-0 finals came in 1907 vs. Drury, 1923 vs. Rice, 1939 at Tulsa, 2002 against Troy in Little Rock and at South Carolina the following week.

Shutout stats

Coach Chad Morris couldn't remember his last shutout as a head coach after the Hogs' 23-0 victory. Turns out it came in his final season as a high school coach in 2009, when his Lake Travis (Texas) team beat Dripping Springs High 52-0.

Sports on 10/22/2018


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