When the Arkansas Razorbacks fell to the San Jose State Spartans on Sept. 21 at home, coach Chad Morris mentioned he had his doubts about the outcome of the game as early as pregame warm-ups. There were some players who were allegedly not taking the task at hand seriously enough and felt they had the game in the bag.
With a second straight loss, this time 31-27 to the Texas A&M Aggies in the Southwest Classic at AT&T Stadium, one can’t help but wonder if that was the case again.
However, Morris told reporters after the game the team responded the way he asked.
“I felt all week long, from Sunday night all week — and, again, there’s a lot of hurt in that locker room right now,” Morris said. “I mean, these guys are pouring their heart and soul out. And they know we got to find a way. And that’s on all of us, to find a way to win games like this.”
The Hogs had a chance to win the game on the final drive when they got down to the Aggies’ 19-yard line with 40 seconds left in the game. Ben Hicks, who was filling in for an injured Nick Starkel, was unable to connect with tight end Cheyenne O’Grady on a fourth-and-5, turning the ball over on downs and giving Texas A&M their eighth straight win over Arkansas, extending the longest such winning streak for the Aggies in the series.
“They did exactly what I asked them to do, and that was to respond,” said Chad Morris. “And they responded every day last week. And we had one of our best weeks of practices that we’ve had, the intensity level, the energy level. And it led me to believe that these guys were going to play extremely hard today, and that’s what they did.”
The Hogs have an open week on Oct. 5 and then get back into action against the Kentucky Wildcats on Oct. 12 in Lexington.