Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and a voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year twice.
Morris says 'warrior' Ty Storey secures QB job
Arkansas quarterback Ty Storey falls forward during a game against Auburn on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.
AUBURN, Ala. -- A month into the season, the Arkansas Razorbacks finally have a starting quarterback.
University of Arkansas Coach Chad Morris said Ty Storey will be the starter moving forward after No. 9 Auburn beat the Razorbacks 34-3 on Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The outcome wasn't what Arkansas wanted, but Morris praised Storey's performance.
"I thought Ty was a warrior," Morris said. "I thought he was a warrior and he was gritty. I thought he played with a chip on his shoulder, and the moment was not too big for him."
Storey -- the first Arkansas quarterback to start and finish the same game this season -- completed 13 of 31 passes for 141 yards and 1 interception. He was sacked twice for 19 yards in losses, but on 10 other carries he had 63 yards, including a 17-yarder.
"Ty played a hell of a game," Razorbacks senior defensive end Randy Ramsey said. "He stepped up tonight. He showed he can be the leader of the team.
"He carried the offense on his back tonight."
The Razorbacks outgained Auburn in total offense 290 to 225 yards, but struggled to finish drives. They moved to the Auburn 22, 11 and 28 on three possessions, but had only Connor Limpert's 29-yard field goal in the third quarter to show for it.
"It starts with me," said Storey, a redshirt junior from Charleston. "I've got to make more plays, and we've got to put the ball in the end zone.
"We're going to do it. We're confident in the people around me and in the system we're running. It's good stuff. We've just got to execute."
Morris named Storey the starter on Monday for the Auburn game after he didn't play in North Texas' 44-17 victory over the Razorbacks last week.
"Obviously, there were some throws we wish he could have back," Morris said. "But this is a guy who kept fighting, just like they all did.
"I'm very proud of Ty. I'm extremely proud of him moving forward and the way he played tonight. I thought Ty did some really good things tonight."
The Razorbacks alternated starting quarterbacks between sophomore Cole Kelley and Storey in their four games this season.
In the season opener, Storey came off the bench in the second quarter in place of Kelley and completed 12 of 17 passes for 261 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Razorbacks beat Eastern Illinois 55-20.
That performance earned Storey his first start in the second game at Colorado State.
After Storey completed 5 of 13 passes for 36 yards and 2 interceptions in the first half, Kelley replaced him. Kelley threw two touchdown passes in the second half, but Colorado State rallied to win 34-27.
Morris decided to go with Kelley as the starter again last week against North Texas. Kelley threw four interceptions, but Storey stayed on the bench as Morris decided to give true freshmen Connor Noland and John Stephen Jones some snaps.
Morris said after that game he wanted to give the freshmen a look and not play Storey in a lopsided game. Then Morris gave Storey all of this week to prepare as the starter at Auburn.
"It was good knowing going in that I'm the guy, so I knew exactly what I had to do," Storey said. "I thought we had a great week of preparation."
In Storey's last game at Auburn in 2016, he came off the bench in the second quarter when started Austin Allen suffered a knee injury. He completed 1 of 3 passes for 5 yards and was sacked for a 10-yard loss before Allen returned.
"I definitely felt a lot more comfortable," Storey said of Saturday night's game. "You can definitely feel the difference in two, three years -- however long it's been."
Arkansas senior guard Johnny Gibson said he was impressed by Storey's toughness.
"Ty was strong in the huddle, and he was a leader in there," Gibson said. "I loved it. I thought he did all right."
Gibson said it's good to know Storey has established himself as the starting quarterback.
"It's good to have somebody settled," Gibson said. "Knowing who's going to take over and who's going to be in the huddle every play.
"That's a big thing, knowing who's going to be back there and knowing what we're going to get from him."
Ramsey said knowing Storey will be the starter is a good feeling for the whole team.
"That's great, that's wonderful," Ramsey said. "Now we don't have to worry about who's playing this game, this game. It's good to know that we have a solidified starter on the offense."
Sports on 09/23/2018
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