Arkansas football hosts Colorado State on Saturday in Fayetteville. Here are your three keys to an Arkansas win over Colorado State.
By Matt Zemek
The Arkansas Razorbacks blew a large lead at Colorado State last year, and it set the wrong tone for the rest of the season. Now the Hogs get another shot at the Rams and former SEC assistant coach Mike Bobo, who used to work under Mark Richt at Georgia. Chad Morris needs to get a win over Colorado State not only to wipe away the bitter taste of last season, but to start fresh in 2019 and create a winning feeling before this train gets thrown off the tracks.
Key 1 – Quarterback Carousel
The Chad Morris era is off to such a rocky start for many reasons. To be sure, Arkansas is a mess across the board, not in only one or two limited areas which can quickly be fixed. That said, the Hogs need their quarterback to be strong, because a Chad Morris offense has to have a reliable trigger man. Arkansas has not settled on a clear solution yet.
Colorado State allowed 52 points to a Colorado team which is probably not all that good. It beat Nebraska… but we know Nebraska is still in rebuilding mode and not nearly ready to return to the ranks of the nation’s elite. Colorado State has a very vulnerable defense. If Arkansas can’t fatten up against the Rams and get a quality performance at the quarterback position, which has involved yet more shuffling in the early stages of the 2019 season, it is hard to see how this ship will ever be turned around in the coming two and a half months.
Morris has to coach better in so many different realms of his job, but it all starts at quarterback, and everyone in and around the UA program knows this. Morris needs to find a clear answer here, and soon.
Key 2 – The other 10
When a head coach makes a quarterback change, as Morris has done, the change is often made not as a verdict on the two quarterbacks involved (though that is often the case, and is probably so in this instance), but as a call to the other 10 players on the offense to raise their games as well.
Even though this move is designed to find a better answer at quarterback, it remains true that a new quarterback means very little if the other 10 players don’t play better to help out their signal-caller and teammate. Will Arkansas’ offensive linemen and receivers and running backs play better? Morris is certainly hoping they will. Are players in the locker room and on the practice field going to get mad? Are they going to get sick and tired of being sick and tired, thereby playing with more fire, fury and focus than before? They darn sure need to. This needs to become a moment of awakening for a slumbering program.
Key 3 – Fourth-Quarter Defense
Arkansas football’s fourth-quarter defense crumbled last year against Colorado State. The defense’s worst quarter last week at Ole Miss was the fourth quarter, allowing 14 of 31 points. Arkansas has to be able to play a complete game on defense. Three of four quarters is only 75 percent. Let’s see if the Hogs can finish what they start.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 3:00 PM CT (4:00 PM ET). Watch on the SEC Network.
This Week’s SEC Football News and Analysis
|Game||First Looks||3 Keys|
|Kansas State vs. Mississippi State||KSU||MSU||Preview||KSU 31, MSU 24||Stats|
|Colorado State vs. Arkansas||CSU||Arky||Preview||Arkansas 55, CSU 34||Stats|
|Northwestern St vs. LSU||NWSU||LSU||Preview||LSU 65, NWSU 14||Stats|
|Florida vs. Kentucky||FLA / UK||UK / FLA||Preview||Florida 29, UK 21||Stats|
|Kent State vs. Auburn||Kent St.||Auburn||Preview||Auburn 55, Kent St. 16||Stats|
|Alabama vs. South Carolina||USC / Bama||Bama / USC||Preview||Bama 47, USC 23||Stats|
|SE Missouri St vs. Missouri||SEMO||Mizzou||Preview||Mizzou 50, SEMO 0||Stats|
|Lamar vs. Texas A&M||Lamar||Texas A&M||Preview||TAMU 62, Lamar 3||Stats|
|Arkansas St. vs. Georgia||Ark. State||UGA||Preview||UGA 55, ASU 0||Stats|
|Chattanooga vs. Tennessee||UTC||Tennessee||Preview||Tennessee 45, UTC 0||Stats|
|SE Louisiana vs. Ole Miss||SE Louisiana||Ole Miss||Preview||Ole Miss 40, SELA 29||Stats|