Razorbacks Report:

Play result of a bad move, QB says

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Friday, October 26, 2018
Ty Storey, Arkansas quarterback, looks for a receiver in the 1st quarter vs Ole Miss Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Photo by Ben Goff
Ty Storey, Arkansas quarterback, looks for a receiver in the 1st quarter vs Ole Miss Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Ty Storey is expected to make his sixth start at quarterback in search of his first victory for the Arkansas Razorbacks at 11 a.m. Saturday against Vanderbilt.

Storey played a key role off the bench in Arkansas' season-opening victory against Eastern Illinois, but he had to sit out last week's 23-0 victory against Tulsa.

Storey's season had been on an upswing before he made the decision to stay high against Ole Miss safety Xavier Woods at the end of a 10-yard run for a first down in the fourth quarter two weeks ago.

The junior quarterback was upended, suffered a concussion and was limited to an advisory capacity to freshman starter Connor Noland and sophomore sub Cole Kelley against Tulsa.

Storey was asked what he learned from the play that sent him out of the previous game.

"Ummm, still gotta get first downs, man," Storey said.

When a reporter asked if he'd still not slide at the end of that second-and-10 run, Storey said, "I mean, yeah, I'd probably pick a better move. That was not a very good move. I jumped in there and let him toss me a little bit. I'd probably switch up the moves."

Though Storey said he was feeling pretty good Saturday, he still had not passed concussion protocols (until Sunday), so he did what he could as a mentor for Noland, especially after the freshman's first-series interception.

"I tried to settle him down," Storey said. "We kind of started off rocky. It's football. I told him that's going to happen, so just bounce back and he did. He played great."

Noland said Storey and Kelley both supported him.

"They came up to me and were giving me good advice on what to do," Noland said. "When I threw that pick, they came up to me and said, 'Go get 'em next play.' It really helps when the older guys are coming in and helping the younger guys. It meant a lot to me."

'Blowing it up'

Vanderbilt Coach Derek Mason was very descriptive in his praise of several Razorbacks this week, most notably the work of safety Santos Ramirez.

"Ramirez, their safety, is blowing it up," Mason said. "He's second or third in the conference in tackles."

Ramirez ranks sixth in the SEC in total tackles with 63, with Vanderbilt linebacker Jordan Griffin first (86) and Arkansas linebacker De'Jon Harris second (82).

As for Harris, Mason said, "He's playing fabulous at the linebacker position," and later "De'Jon Harris is a flat-out baller."

Mason also touted La'Michael Pettway's yards per catch (15.9) and said tailback Rakeem Boyd "is playing extremely well."

Low INTs

The Razorbacks and Commodores have five interceptions apiece to rank near the bottom of the SEC stats. Only Georgia and Missouri (4) and Texas A&M (3) have fewer interceptions.

One of the Aggies' interceptions came against Arkansas, when safety Donovan Wilson picked off a deep ball from Ty Storey with a little more than a minute left in Texas A&M's 24-17 victory.

The five interceptions for Arkansas and Vanderbilt rank 73rd nationally.

Big wind

Vanderbilt kicker Ryley Guay hasn't exactly been consistent this season with a 57.1 percent success ratio (8 of 14) on field goal attempts, but Coach Derek Mason was willing to cut him some slack for his 31-yard miss last week at Kentucky.

The kick would have given the Commodores a 10-7 lead with 9:33 left in the third quarter of a game Kentucky eventually won 14-7.

"I have to discount this past game," Mason said when asked about red-zone struggles and when to kick or go for it on fourth down. "I've been in no football game where I've had 40 to 45 miles an hour winds.

"I saw our field goal kicker start the game, which is the equivalent to a chip shot, I saw him hit it and go down the middle, stop, and that thing blew 6 yards to the left. I've never been involved in anything like that."

The Commodores were later stopped on a fourth-and-1 play from the Kentucky 16 when tailback Jamauri Wakefield fumbled at the end of a 1-yard loss.

"The decision not to kick later in that ballgame came down to what I had seen from both kickers," Mason said.

Talking ball

Vanderbilt Coach Derek Mason, a former defensive coordinator at Stanford, and Arkansas defensive coordinator John "Chief" Chavis have spent time together talking football.

"I know Chief well," Mason said. "We've done football together when he was at Texas A&M. His staff came [to Vanderbilt] and we spent days talking some football."

Chavis spoke highly of Mason.

"I've had the opportunity to sit down with Derek Mason before and visit and he's a first-class guy," Chavis said. "There's no question he's a great football coach.

"His resume is loaded. The way he runs his program at Vandy is the way you should do things. He is first-class all the way and a brilliant mind."

Side by side

Vanderbilt and Arkansas rank consecutively in total defense in the FBS at 87th and 88th, respectively. The Commodores are allowing 408.1 yards per game, while the Razorbacks are giving up 409.3 yards per game.

The positioning is reversed in league play, though the teams are also consecutively ranked in the SEC, with Arkansas at No. 12 at 463.0 yards per game and Vanderbilt at No. 13 (492.0). Only Ole Miss (512.5) is allowing more yards per game in conference play.

Sports on 10/26/2018

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