Boyd, Storey healthy and ready for Vanderbilt

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Arkansas quarterback Ty Storey hugs running back Rakeem Boyd during a game against Auburn on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas quarterback Ty Storey hugs running back Rakeem Boyd during a game against Auburn on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.

— If he had gotten one more carry last weekend, Arkansas redshirt sophomore tailback Rakeem Boyd likely would be going for his fourth straight 100-yard game this Saturday against Vanderbilt.

But Boyd had no idea when he left the 23-0 win over Tulsa early in the third quarter with cramps in his quads due to dehydration that he only had 99 yards.

Boyd, who fumbled twice, turned things over to sophomore Chase Hayden and redshirt freshman Maleek Williams for the rest of the game.

“Honestly, I had no clue that I was at 99,” Boyd said. “I thought I was over it. I was rolling so I was thinking that I was over it. Then I was like ’99 yards? Whatever.’ I realized it after the game.”

Boyd is now up to 502 yards rushing on 75 carries this season. He admits that if he had known he was at 99 yards that he could have played and would have begged to go back in.

“I have been thinking about it since,” Boyd said. “Man, one yard.”

It was the second week in a row that Boyd had to leave a game early. He injured his back in the second quarter of a 37-33 loss to Ole Miss in Little Rock.

Boyd had 109 yards against the Rebels before getting hurt in the second quarter. He rushed for 102 yards against Alabama the week before.

“I went through the hole and I think I was about to fly past him and then he just latched on to me and just drove me into the ground,” Boyd said of the play when he was injured against Ole Miss. “My back was already hurt from a long time ago and it messed up.”

Boyd, who noted after practice that he was 100 percent healthy, will join Hayden - whose grandmother recently died - and Williams in handling running duties against Vanderbilt.

Devwah Whaley and T.J. Hammonds are both injured and possibly will not return this season.

“We’ve just got to get those guys back,” Boyd said. “We’re going to keep doing what we do and next man up.”

Boyd believes he would have more yardage if he had been able to work out with the team this summer. He did not arrive at Arkansas until August.

“If I’d been here all summer it would probably be a little different story,” said Boyd, who noted he began to hit his stride against Auburn and Alabama.

Boyd has also become a threat catching the ball out of the backfield, something he never did in high school and just a few times while at Independence Community College in 2017.

“I could always catch the ball, but when I got here they just put that in the game plan,” Boyd said. “It helps a lot to make it one-on-one and get in one-on-one and stuff like that. It helps to get me out in space. I like it.”

Boyd will rejoined in the backfield this week by redshirt junior quarterback Ty Storey, who missed last week's game with a concussion.

“I feel really good,” Storey said. “I just keep feeling better every day and today’s probably the best I’ve felt and I feel 100 percent normal. So feeling really good, especially just being back out there at practice and being able to be out there with the guys, it’s a better feeling than having to sit out and watch them.”

Storey was knocked out of the Ole Miss game on a running play in the fourth quarter.

“That’s the first head injury I’ve really had,” Storey said. “It was definitely weird…Heard a bell definitely; don’t really know. I got over there and I guess adrenaline was still going so I was feeling good. I was telling them I feel normal. Then it just hit me all at once. I guess the adrenaline wore out and it was weird.”

Boyd is happy to have Storey back. The two combined to get ahead of Ole Miss 27-10 in the opening half before neither one finished the game.

“He’s a good guy to be around,” Boyd said. “He’s the key to all of it. So it was good to see him out there today at practice.”

Storey, who has passed for 983 yards and 7 touchdowns with 5 interceptions this season, will come into the game after what he deemed his best effort of the season against Ole Miss.

“I definitely feel like we keep getting better as an offense,” Storey said. “I feel as confident as I ever have. I think the guys around me are confident, too. I think we’re playing good ball and we’ve got to keep building off that. And that’s with coming to practice every day and keep working hard.”

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