All summer and fall, Arkansas fans wondered who would take hold of the starting quarterback job. Turns out it took about a half of the season opener to learn that Ty Storey was the man for the job as Arkansas cruised to a 55-20 win over Eastern Illinois.
Cole Kelley started the game, and passing wise went a decent 6/8 but the offense struggled to really threaten. The run game couldn’t find any holes and there wasn’t much deep threat. Arkansas got their first 10 points off fumbles forced by the defense. Then Storey came in and the offense had a complete other dimension with getting the ball down the field. Storey hit Jordan Jones for a 46 yard gain down the middle en route to a Devwah Whaley touchdown. He would then hit La’Michael Pettway for a 14 yard touchdown, then a 48 yard touchdown. Then Jordan Jones got a 57 yard bomb to end the second quarter. At the end of the half Storey had 10/13 for 214 yards and three touchdowns. He would finish 12/17 for 261 yards and added a rushing touchdown.
Defensively, looked much improved from last year, especially in the turnovers department. Chevin Calloway forced and recovered two fumbles in the first half. Arkansas’ first touchdown of the year came when Armon Watts forced a fumble in the endzone that Briston Guidry recovered. Bumper Pool, who looked very good as a freshman, recovered one that D’Vone McClure forced and nearly took it to the house in his debut. Arkansas had six different players force a fumble in this game and started off the year with a very positive turnover margin.
Now, this game did come against an FCS opponent so we’re not going to run out and start printing out Storey for Heisman banners, but a debut against a weaker opponent went about as well of a debut against a weaker opponent can go. Arkansas answered their biggest in finding their quarterback, gave their defense some confidence, and the offensive line looked much better in pass protection than the past two years.
There are still things that need to be worked on, like run blocking and punting for starters. But for now, things are good. The Chad Morris era started off with a smooth win, we saw some things and players to get us excited about the future.