Coming off a week in which HC Chad Morris was mercifully shown the door, a lot of questions surrounded the Arkansas football program and how they would respond in the face of such adversity. Well, these questions were answered as The Hogs pulled off a stunning upset over the highly favored Bye Week.
Headed into Saturday, things were bleak for the Hogs. They had lost seven games in a row, including embarrassing losses at home to Mississippi State and Western Kentucky. Bye Week was coming off strong performances against Michigan and Florida. Vegas reflected this, giving Bye Week the nod (-14). Well, as the old saying goes, football isn’t played on paper and the Hogs now have their signature win.
Arkansas’ defense was the star of the show, shutting Bye Week out completely and holding their prolific offense in check. We’ve decried him before, by John Chavis really had his guys ready to play. Bye Week could get absolutely nothing going through the air or on the ground and their star QB Nobody looked absolutely lost against Arkansas’ blitz and multiple defensive packages.
“I’m just so happy for our guys,” said Arkansas Interim Head Coach Barry Lunney Jr, his shirt soaked from the Gatorade bath he had received just moments prior. “They came out here and competed their butts off. I can’t say enough about them, especially our seniors.”
The win is especially remarkable considering this was Lunney Jr’s first game as a head coach. He looked good, making confident decisions and keeping the offense on the field to convert several crucial 4th downs. The offense looked great, with KJ Jefferson showing his athleticism and Rakeem Boyd ripping off long runs seemingly at will. Treylon Burks and Trey Knox really clicked with KJ, allowing the Hogs to rack up the yards and the points. Devwah Whaley, finally utilized correctly, was a Swiss Army Knife, setting career highs in both rushing and receiving yards.
“It feels good to get a win like this,” said a visibly emotional Whaley. “You hear all this talk about how guys don’t care, about how Arkansas is trash. You take it personal. So to come out here and get a win like this... it’s incredible.”
Arkansas faces it’s toughest challenge of the season next Saturday as they head to Death Valley to play LSU under the lights. The Hogs hope to carry the momentum from this week’s win into Baton Rouge and will look to shock the college football world once again.
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