Without the possibility of the Razorbacks making an appearance in a bowl game this season, players and coaches reiterated the team’s play the rest of the season will be dedicated to the senior class.
After making trips to a pair of high-profile bowl games in this senior class’ first two seasons at Arkansas, the Razorbacks have not been able to expand on the success, missing out on bowl season the last two seasons.
"They’ve shown great resilience," defensive coordinator Chris Ash said of the senior class. "To be able to go through what they’ve been through over the last two years … it says a lot about their character."
The senior class, that includes names like Travis Swanson, Chris Smith, Byran Jones, and Kiero Small, is focused primarily on the remaining games ahead and finishing their careers out on a positive note.
"It is weird," defensive end Chris Smith said of only having a pair of games left in an Arkansas uniform. "But that’s what I’m telling all the seniors, ‘don’t hold nothing back. Go out there and practice hard’."
Although players realize there’s no shot at a bowl game this year, they understand they can still play for not only the here-and-now, but the future, and help lay the foundation for the future of the program.
"These are still SEC game, this is still football," Smith said. "Even though these are mine, and the seniors last two games, we can at least help the young guys set the foundation for next year."
Smith also noted the team can still play the spoiler role and "mess people up" in the season’s final games and still have an affect on the final outcome of the conference standings even being out of the race.
Senior linebacker Jarrett Lake said "it meant everything" to him to put all off-field issues aside and help this team as much as he has this season.
"I feel like we have a special group of seniors," the senior linebacker said. "We just want to leave a great impression on Coach B … and show him we came here to play."
Looking towards the future, the upperclassmen are speaking very highly of the younger players on the team, and are excited about their futures.
"I see that the young guys are hungry," Lake said. "I know it’s hard for them to see great things will happen when they look at our season, but a lot of the young guys have established that in their head to go out every day and work hard in practice."