Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a member and past president of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year 10 times and has been inducted into the Arkansas Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
Like It Is:
Near misses, bowling seen in Hogs' future
Chad Morris, Arkansas head coach, watches Saturday, March, 9, 2019, during spring practice at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
There is no shortage of enthusiasm surrounding the University of Arkansas football program right now.
That is typical of Chad Morris. He’s an optimistic guy. The glass is never half anything; it is overflowing.
So this is the time of year when fans, sportswriters, talk-show hosts and TV personalities start to drink gallons of hype, and suddenly their predictions become more enthusiastic.
It is also that time of year to dust off the crystal ball and take a shot at predicting how this season will turn out for the Razorbacks.
Without further ado:
Arkansas 63, Portland State 3: It could be worse for the visitors. Expect Ben Hicks to get the start, but by the second quarter Nick Starkel will be playing. By the end of the game, the only two guys who won’t take snaps at center are Ty Storey and Cole Kelley.
Arkansas 27, Ole Miss 24: The Rebels open the season with a very tough Memphis team, and their season’s tone will be established after they meet the Razorbacks. There will a huge crowd in “The Grove” for this SEC opener, and several thousand at the game. It will be tied going into the fourth quarter, but McTelvin Agim will force a fumble and De’Jon Harris will recover. With 4:51 to play, Connor Limpert kicks a 41-yard field goal for the win.
Arkansas 35, Colorado State 14: A win was given away to the Rams last season, but the new and improved Hogs won’t let that happen again. Rakeem Boyd rushes for 131 yards and three touchdowns, and the Razorbacks move to 3-0 as the enthusiasm grows.
Arkansas 56, San Jose State 0: After this one, Razorbacks Nation is predicting which bowl the Hogs will play in.
Texas A&M 38, Arkansas 35: Starkel comes off the bench and passes for four touchdowns and 291 yards against his former team, but it isn’t enough as the Aggies score two touchdowns off turnovers and lead 28-7 at the half.
Kentucky 31, Arkansas 28 (OT): A heartbreaker for the Hogs as they play the Wildcats off their feet, gaining more than 450 yards of offense, but don’t find the end zone often enough. Morris says after the game there is still a lot of football to play. He’s right, half the season.
Auburn 34, Arkansas 31: Another close-but-no-cigar game as the Tigers have too much depth and experience, although the Razorbacks are showing more consistency on offense and the defense is good against the run.
Alabama 42, Arkansas 17: Tua Tagovailoa helps his Heisman campaign, hitting 24 of 27 passes for 339 yards and 6 touchdowns. Arkansas tries to shorten the field in the second half by using its talented running backs.
Mississippi State 31, Arkansas 27: The Bulldogs aren’t the defensive powerhouse they were a year ago, but they find a way to stop the Hogs on fourth and goal from the 1 with 0:01 to play.
Arkansas 49, Western Kentucky 10: The Hogs’ backs are against the wall to make a bowl. The Razorbacks head into their second open date with five victories.
LSU 28, Arkansas 27: The Tigers are riding too high after their win at Alabama the week before, and the Hogs lead 27-21 late in the fourth quarter. The Tigers drive 88 yards in 10 plays for the win at home.
Arkansas 42, Missouri 28: The Hogs have no turnovers and the defense seems to be highly motivated to stop Tiger quarterback Kelly Bryant, who flirted with the Hogs when he was talking about transferring. A huge win for the Hogs in War Memorial Stadium, and they are bowl bound at 6-6.
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