Lunney Wants to Send Seniors Out Right Way in Little Rock on Friday

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LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) runs for a first down, near Arkansas defensive back LaDarrius Bishop (24) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas’ Barry Lunney Jr. saw his team lose big to No. 1 LSU on Saturday night, but he now has his sights set on Missouri.

Missouri (5-6) lost its fifth straight game on Saturday night and has yet to win away from Columbia this season. Arkansas hasn’t won an SEC game since a 38-37 victory over Ole Miss on Oct. 28, 2017.

The Razorbacks are 2-9 this season, but they had some success against LSU in the first and fourth quarters Saturday night. They only trailed 7-3 after one quarter and won the final 15 minutes 14-7. Is that something Lunney feels his team can build off of this week?

“Well it is,” Lunney said. “All three phases complement each other and when you are hitting on all cylinders that’s what happens. Even early on in the game that was happening. The defense got some critical stops and we fed off their energy and some plays were being made and we did enough on offense to put us in field goal range and we executed a field goal. And that’s team football.  There was evidence of that that showed up tonight, obviously just for not long enough time. 

“We couldn’t sustain it. That was a quality team that we saw tonight, but that’s going to be a key for us next week. We’ve got to bounce back in a short week and we have to play complementary football in all three phases to have a chance to win at home against Missouri. We want to give our seniors the opportunity to go out the right way. We are long overdue. I don’t mean that in the sense that it’s coming or guaranteed. But a win would do wonders for the way our season has gone and would do wonders for our football team. So we are going to put all our energy and effort to working towards  that. We know it’s going to be a great challenge, though.”

The bad news for Arkansas on Saturday night was the second and third quarters. Arkansas was outscored 42-3 in that stretch. With the two teams entering War Memorial Stadium with a combined 13 game losing streak it could very well come down to which one wants it the most.

“The way we started and the way we finished we’ve got to find a way to do that for four quarters to win a SEC football game,” Lunney said. “I feel coming into this football game I saw a lot of life in our guys and in their hearts.  I think that showed up early in the game. The encouraging thing for me and our staff was I still saw a lot of that even after the game in this locker room.

“If we  capture that and go fight and scratch and claw this week we are going to give ourselves and opportunity to end the season the way we all want to. Again, that’s not me saying  we are going to win the football game.  I’m just telling you  that  we  are going to have to  those things to have a chance. and I’m fully confident that we will have that.  We have to get a great plan in a short week and  heal up physically and let’s go to Little Rock and give these guys a real senior day to remember.”

Arkansas and Missouri will kickoff at 1:30 p.m. in a nationally televised game on CBS.

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