FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas enters the final month of the 2019 season 2-6 and the chances of a bowl game basically gone.
The Hogs have been blown out by Auburn and Alabama in back-to-back weeks and still have LSU remaining. The key, at this point of the season, is close the year on a positive note.
To do that Arkansas needs to find a way to beat Mississippi State, Western Kentucky and Missouri. Those teams are similar to the first six opponents Arkansas faced and were competitive in each of the games.
It’s probably far-fetched to expect Arkansas to win those three games, but the key could be the Mississippi State game on Saturday. What happens in that game could define what happens against Western Kentucky and Missouri.
In other words, if Arkansas could find a way to beat Mississippi State the momentum would likely carryover to Western Kentucky. Missouri hasn’t won a game away from Columbia all season.
But if Arkansas loses to Mississippi State any chance of some positive momentum to end the season could be gone. That’s why, given the circumstances, Saturday’s game will be big for the Hogs.
It will be interesting to see the direction Chad Morris opts to go at quarterback against the Bulldogs. If Ben Hicks is healthy does he get the start? Does John Stephen Jones get to start after seeing his first action against the Tide? Does KJ Jefferson finally get to play? Nick Starkel has started five of the eight games this season does he get the start despite not playing well against the Tide?
Many fans have wanted to see Jefferson get to play earlier this season. But it was wise if he wasn’t gonna play prior to Auburn to not put him in the past two games. A player can play in four games and still maintain his redshirt. It would have been pointless to waste Jefferson against Auburn and Alabama.
But now there’s four games left in the season and it would be good to see what he can do in a game. He and Jones are running threats and thus give Arkansas another option in the ground game.
Hopefully this Saturday the fans in Reynolds Razorback Stadium will get to see some more members of a touted freshman class who haven’t been on the field yet. Among them are Jefferson, running back A’Montae Spivey, tight end Hudson Henry and others.