FAYETTEVILLE - Certainly the Arkansas Razorbacks' new shined through in their 55-34 victory last Saturday over Colorado State.
Arkansas graduate transfer via Texas A&M quarterback Nick Starkel, true freshman receivers Trey Knox of Murfreesboro Tenn. and Treylon Burks of Warren, redshirt freshman defensive back LaDarrius Bishop of Ashdown and senior tight end Cheyenne O'Grady, O'Grady missed last season's first two games, weren't in Fort Collins, Colo. against CSU's Rams on Sept. 8, 2018. Arkansas lost a 27-9 third-quarter lead and lost the game, 34-27.
All made a difference last Saturday for second-year coach Chad Morris' rebuilding Razorbacks at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
A major difference. Especially upon CSU rallying from down 27-14 at 11:41 of the second quarter tying it 34-34 at 2:26 in the third quarter.
Starkel completed 20 of 35 for 305 yards and three touchdowns. Knox caught 6 for 90 yards and a touchdown, Burks caught catches 4 for 92 yards. Arkansas doesn't ice its 21-0 fourth quarter minus O'Grady's sensational 62-yard touchdown catch and run and Bishop's 25-yard scoop and score off a CSU fumble jarred loose by linebacker Hayden Henry.
The new came through.
So did old hands.
Junior running back Rakeem Boyd netted a career-high 122 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
Senior running back Devwah Whaley, a non-factor in Arkansas' 1-1 start before last Saturday but with a career-high 165 rushing yards against CSU, last year reemerged. He netted 81 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
Junior center Ty Clary of Fayetteville, a not ready for prime time player the last two seasons compelled by lack of Arkansas offensive line depth to start ahead of his time, threw the key block springing Boyd's 59-yard touchdown run. He's grown into the center leader of the line.
"I think Ty Clary is improved tremendously," Morris said. "His leadership, he's in complete control."
A mostly young Arkansas defense stunned two plays into the game by running back Marvin Kinsey's 75-yard touchdown run and also strafed by a backup quarterback's 75-yard touchdown pass, pitched a fourth-quarter shutout.
Senior linebacker De'Jon "Scoota" Harris and senior defensive tackles McTelvin "Sosa" Agim and T.J. Smith rallied the troops, Morris said.
"In that defensive huddle, they were calm but they were certain that we were going to win this thing in the fourth quarter," Morris said. "After what happened a year ago they weren't going to let this happen again. They weren't."
Those who played for great Arkansas teams past likely roll their eyes celebrating beating Colorado State. The Rams were among the usual suspects Arkansas rounded up as nonconference tuneups.
But consider since 2012 Arkansas in Little Rock lost to Louisiana-Monroe and Toledo, lost to Rutgers in Fayetteville and New Jersey, lost at Colorado State and in Fayetteville was routed by North Texas and barely survived Coastal Carolina.
For these Hogs, this CSU game wasn't a tuneup. It was a must.
Sports on 09/16/2019
Print Headline: NATE ALLEN COLUMN Blend of new, old helps Hogs win