2019 Arkansas Razorbacks College Football Preview
BET ON THE ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS
Reynolds Razorback Stadium
80,800 Seat Stadium
Last year’s record (2-10, 0-8 SEC)
Head Coach: Chad Morris
Record at School (2-10) 1 year
Career Record (16-32) 4 years
To sum up last year Arkansas had two wins in coach Chad Morris’s first season. They beat E Illinois (3-8) and Tulsa (3-9). E Illinois turned the ball over 5 times to the Razorbacks none. E Illinois had more time of possession and more first downs.
The 23-0 win over Tulsa was not as dominating as the score either. Last season was really a mess and ended with starting QB Ty Storey and backup QB Cole Kelley transferred to different schools.
Both offensively and defensively they were ranked no better than 11th in the SEC in any category. Did not help they were -10 in turnovers either.
As bad as things sound, they did hang with a couple of SEC teams last season. I am assuming those teams slept walked through those games. I don’t know how else to explain it. Maybe things are not as bleak as they sound.
Arkansas has (6) returning starters back from last season. Despite both QB’s transferring, it is not as bleak as it sounds. Incoming SMU QB transfer Ben Hicks is primed to take over the starting job. Hicks was a three year starter at SMU and in 2017 threw for over 3,500 yards and 33 TD passes.
Before coach Chad Morris came to Arkansas, he coached SMU and Hicks for three years improving the program each year and getting the team to a bowl game. So Hicks knows the coach and system and has seen first hand him turn a losing program around.
Leading rusher Rakeem Boyd returns picking up 734 yards, averaging 6 yards per carry last season. With minor injuries to the RB’s this spring, backups have seen plenty of action and the running game appears to be in good shape.
The WR’s are young and talented, but may be a year away from reaching their potential. The line only has two starters returning, but that might be a good thing. They were dominated last year, so new blood might be what the doctor ordered. The talent appears to be there and they may catch some people off guard after last years dismal season.
No question the defense struggled mightily last year and with only (5) starters back it will again unless some young kids can step in. Arkansas did have a top 25 recruiting class this off season.
The strength of the defense appears to be the line, while the linebackers and secondary need some work. Returning senior LB De’Jon Harris led the team in tackles last season and his leadership will be counted on early this season.
When you have so many young guys you don’t always know what you are going to get. Reports are saying the defensive line has looked strong this spring and if that is the case it will give the secondary time to come together as a unit.
ARKANSAS SPECIAL TEAMS
I guess you could say there is nothing special about the Arkansas special teams. Everything appears to be just average. They do have senior place kicker Connor Limpert returning. He made 19 of just 24 field goal attempts last year. Deon Steward took over the punting duties midseason and did what he needed to do to keep his job this year.
2019 ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS OUTLOOK
Arkansas is not going to be as bad as last season. With 4 winnable non conference games, they should have no problem surpassing last seasons win total of two. Young teams even if talented can be very erratic.
More than likely they will not go undefeated in those 4 games they are supposed to win. But I feel they have the talent to knock off one or two of those lesser SEC teams. Is a minor bowl in their future? Could be. What a turnaround that would be for the Razorbacks!
SPORTSBETTING.AG has listed the regular season win total at 5½. I have no choice but to take over 5½ wins based on their non conference schedule and maybe a little bit of good fortune.
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