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This is the day Razorbacks Nation generally gets over the hump.

Sunday and Monday are anger days. Tuesday is for depression, and Wednesday is when many start to believe the University of Arkansas is capable of winning the next game.

With Alabama next up, there may not be much optimism, although many will try to wring hope out of the fact that Alabama starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is out.

But this is still Bama with a team full of five-star recruits.

Tagovailoa had ankle surgery Monday and is out for at least three weeks, maybe more.

The Tide, without their star signal caller, are still a 32-point favorite. There's a reason for that.

This game could be another reason to moan and groan.

What hasn't helped, at least in central Arkansas, is the reminder of Bobby Petrino taking the Razorbacks to their only BCS bowl appearance, and of Houston Nutt's contagious optimism and enthusiasm.

Both were speakers at the Little Rock Touchdown Club this season.

Petrino asked for forgiveness for the way his tenure ended. The tough-as-an-Army-boot coach teared up.

Nutt reminded everyone about his engaging personality and positive attitude. He took the field believing he was going to win every game.

Neither coach is coming back. Their place in the UA history book is now assured of a more prominent and happier place.

Speaking of happier, there have been some positives for the football program through the first seven games.

For the most part, the Razorbacks haven't given up. If they did, it was when the game was virtually over.

Last season they gave up in the fourth quarter twice, and they lost games that should have been won.

There are some guys who have really shown the fighting Razorback spirit.

Tight end Cheyenne O'Grady has shown maturity. The senior from Fayetteville had issues with discipline in the past, but now he's playing himself into being selected in the NFL Draft come April.

He's the leading receiver with 29 catches and has 359 hard-fought yards. The man refuses to be tackled by one, two or sometimes several players.

Sophomore receiver Mike Woods has been Mr. Steady no matter who plays quarterback. He has 24 catches and averages 13.3 yards per catch.

Freshman receiver Trey Knox has 26 catches for 357 yards (13.7 ypc), and freshman receiver Treylon Burks averages 15.7 yards on his 18 catches.

Junior Rakeem Boyd is averaging 104.6 all-purpose yards per game, and it has been reported he is playing with a sore shoulder.

Thirteen different Razorbacks have caught passes, including 11 by junior Tyson Morris.

On defense, senior linebacker De'Jon Harris continues to be consistent and is the leading tackler with 54. Sophomore Bumper Pool has 49 tackles.

Junior defensive back Kamren Curl has 42 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 sacks and a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown.

There are others who are playing hard, but some of them are limited in ability more than heart.

This is a tough season for the fans, but it is more difficult for the players who are practicing and playing hard.

It is also tough on the coaches.

Most of the talented players are newcomers, and it hurt the Hogs to lose offensive lineman Noah Gatlin for the season with a knee injury in August. Gatlin wants to win the battle on every snap.

Transfer offensive lineman Luke Jones could have helped, but he didn't get cleared by the NCAA after leaving Notre Dame.

So hope for a win Saturday. Just don't expect one.

Sports on 10/23/2019

Print Headline: WALLY HALL: Some Hogs supply reasons for optimism


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