SEC defeats keep piling up on Hogs

By: Bob Holt
Published: Monday, November 4, 2019
Arkansas running back Rakeem Boyd (5) carries the ball for a 52-yard touchdown during a game against Mississippi State on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Charlie Kaijo
Arkansas running back Rakeem Boyd (5) carries the ball for a 52-yard touchdown during a game against Mississippi State on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Since running back Rakeem Boyd transferred to the University of Arkansas from Independence (Kan.) Community College for the start of the 2018 season, the junior has piled up 1,554 yards rushing and 296 more receiving.

Despite all of those yards, Boyd hasn't been able to celebrate even one SEC victory.

Boyd had another strong performance Saturday against Mississippi State with 11 carries for 114 yards -- including a 52-yard touchdown run -- but the Bulldogs pounded the Razorbacks 54-24.

The loss dropped Arkansas to 0-14 in SEC play in two seasons under Coach Chad Morris.

It's the most consecutive conference losses ever for an Arkansas coach. Morris previously had shared the record with Bret Bielema, his predecessor at Arkansas who lost his first 13 SEC games.

"It's been really tough," Boyd said of the mounting SEC losses. "But I'm going to keep fighting and it's going to come sooner or later. Just waiting on when it happens."

Arkansas (2-7, 0-6 SEC) has just two more conference games left to make it happen this season -- at No. 1 LSU (7-0, 4-0) on Nov. 23 and against Missouri (5-3, 2-2) on Nov. 29 in Little Rock.

Before the Razorbacks resume SEC play, they take on Western Kentucky (5-4) at home on Saturday.

Arkansas has lost six consecutive games, with three close ones and three blowouts.

After the Razorbacks lost to San Jose State, Texas A&M and Kentucky by a combined 15 points, they've lost to Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi State by 112 points.

It's the second-worst three-game stretch for Arkansas since joining the SEC in 1992 in terms of lopsided-sided margins, surpassed only by the Razorbacks losing by a combined 117 points to Florida, Alabama and South Carolina in 2013 during Bielema's first season.

The Razorbacks trailed Alabama and Mississippi State at halftime 41-0 and 38-10.

"Are you just going to sit down and let the score keep going up?" Arkansas senior defensive tackle McTelvin Agim said of the players sticking together. "Because nobody's going to show pity for you. It's the SEC. Don't nobody care.

"The only guys that really matter are those guys on the sideline with us. If you guys don't care about each other, it's going to keep getting bad. You just have to fight your way out of it."

The Razorbacks have lost 17 consecutive SEC games to match their longest streak -- they also lost 17 in a row from 2012-14 -- and last won a conference game on Oct. 28, 2017, when they beat Ole Miss 38-37.

Arkansas hasn't won an SEC game at home in three years, since a 31-10 victory over Florida on Nov. 5, 2016.

The Razorbacks mathematically were eliminated from bowl eligibility with the seventh loss.

Including this season, Arkansas will have a three-year span without playing in a bowl game. The last time that happened was 1992-94.

"We've just got to do our best to keep the young guys up and do our best to lead by example," sophomore receiver Michael Woods said. "Come in and work hard every day."

Sports on 11/04/2019

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