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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas coach Chad Morris is shown during a game against Auburn on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Knowing something bad is going to happen seldom makes it easier when it actually does happen.

Those reeling Razorbacks proved that point losing 51-10 to nationally-ranked No. 11 Auburn last Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

The nationally-ranked No. 1 reigning SEC champion Alabama Crimson Tide will likely compel the Razorbacks repeating the proof while hosting Arkansas for Saturday's 6 p.m. ESPN televised SEC West game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Teams dominating both lines of scrimmage inevitably dominate the scoreboard. Arkansas didn't have the ability to do any of the above against Auburn and likely won't against Alabama.

With the Razorbacks 0-15 in the SEC from Bret Bielema's final three SEC games in 2017 through the SEC 0-12 under Chad Morris, it may seem like times always have fallen hard on Arkansas.

Yet last Saturday on the Reynolds Razorback Stadium's Frank Broyles Field we saw proof that's not so.

Celebrating their 50th and 30th anniversaries, Broyles' 1969 9-2 Razorbacks, 9-0 and ranked No. 2 in the country when they lost 15-14 to No. 1 Texas in the "Big Shootout," and Ken Hatfield's 1989 10-2 Southwest Conference champions were honored during Saturday's game.

Some hand-wringers, either unaware or forgetting that the SWC was no slouch in its heyday, will say, "Well, those Hogs didn't play in the SEC."

Well, Darren McFadden did. The 2019 College Hall of Fame inductee, also honored during last Saturday's game, starred his three 2005-2007 Arkansas seasons in the SEC. McFadden won two Doak Walker Awards as the nation's best running back and led Houston Nutt's 2006 SEC West co-champions.

Just four Arkansas years into the SEC after hard 3-7-1, 5-5-1 and 4-7 baptisms, Danny Ford's 1995 Razorbacks went 8-5 and won the SEC West.

Even with Ford's consecutive 4-7s in 1996 and '97 and 5-6 and 4-7 Houston Nutt seasons in 2004 and 2005, and Bobby Petrino's 5-7 debut, the Razorbacks from 1998-2011 were mostly competitive and sometimes spectacular. Examples are Nutt's 9-3 1998 SEC West co-championship debut and Petrino's 10-3 and 11-2 finales. Petrino's scandalous exit and John L. Smith's bumbling beginning started Arkansas on its SEC skid row.

Despite winning seasons with bowl victories in 2014 and 2015, the latter Bret Bielema seasons dealt Morris the hands he's had to play from last year's 2-10 overall, 0-8 SEC through this season's 2-5, 0-4.

Played against Auburn last Saturday, and likely again against Alabama Saturday in Tuscaloosa, winning with those hands aren't in the cards.

About all Morris and his staff can do is what he asserts they are doing.

Develop what you've got and seek recruiting better than you've got.

That's how Danny Ford got Arkansas going in the SEC before Nutt and Petrino accelerated.

That's what Morris must do regardless, whether ultimately he is or isn't the one hitting the accelerator.

Sports on 10/21/2019

Print Headline: The ups and downs of Razorback football


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