Like it is:

Math works for Hogs, even if it's subtraction

By: Wally Hall
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Chad Morris, Arkansas head coach, watches in the 4th quarter vs Auburn Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala.
Photo by Ben Goff
Chad Morris, Arkansas head coach, watches in the 4th quarter vs Auburn Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala.

Things may be adding up for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Addition by subtraction.

This is not personal and it is not pointing a finger at one, two or even three guys who may no longer be with the Razorbacks -- two of them were starters, and if there is a third, he was much used off the bench, except for blocking.

Wide receiver Jonathan Nance is for sure gone. He announced on Twitter on Monday that he was going to use this, his senior season, to redshirt. He plans to graduate in December and transfer.

Nance originally signed with Southern Mississippi out of Gulfport High in Mississippi, but once on campus the plan to make him a defensive back didn't go over well with him so he transferred to Mississippi Gulf Coast, a junior college.

He was recruited by several schools to play defensive back but chose Arkansas because he was promised he would be a wide receiver. He led the team in receptions last season with 37 catches.

This season, he had one catch for negative 2 yards.

On Saturday he started against Auburn, and two days later he was subtracting himself from the team. He said all the right things in his tweet about being appreciative of the chance to play on that level and making lifelong friends.

Some other receiver now has a golden opportunity to contribute. It could be a true freshman like Mike Woods who has speed and good hands.

Apparently sophomore defensive back Chevin Calloway has left the team, too, but the door did not hit him in the behind and might be open a crack if he wants to return.

Calloway started the first two games and had a total of seven tackles. He also had two fumble recoveries against Eastern Illinois.

He did not dress out for the North Texas game nor did he go to Auburn.

Calloway apparently was needed more as a nickel back than a cornerback, and he wasn't keen on the idea.

His absence gave first Britto Tutt and then Jarques McClellion, a redshirt freshman, the chance to start.

For sure, the Razorbacks defense was the best it had been all season against Auburn, allowing only 225 yards of offense (91 rushing and 134 passing).

Again, it isn't personal. Nance is going to graduate, and if Calloway chooses to transfer he'll find a school somewhere.

What has happened though is Coach Chad Morris, his staff and the players have gone on about their business. The performance of the defense on the road gave encouragement to the fans.

They actually played more like a team on both sides of the ball.

Obviously, there is the matter of special teams, which were anything but special giving up a 96-yard touchdown on a kickoff return, and giving Auburn great field position all night.

The Tigers started drives five times in Arkansas territory. Of their 34 points, 20 were from drives that started on the Razorbacks side of the field and seven more from the kickoff return.

So the final score of 34-3 looks impressive, unless you watched the game.

What does Morris and his staff do about special teams since not one coach is listed in the media guide as being a special teams coach? The answer is something, even if it means asking Ken Turner for help.

Turner, a former Razorbacks assistant and head coach at Henderson State University, was one of the best special teams coaches in the country.

That's just a suggestion, and no doubt Morris and the staff have already spent many hours discussing that problem area. Meanwhile, the Razorbacks showed improvement, and it may be addition by subtraction.

Sports on 09/25/2018


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