I hate reactionary takes in sports. So often, we let our own impatience impede better judgement, and fail to see the damage we do in those moments. This is not one of those moments. I have been patient. Hell, we’ve all been patient. But with each passing week, something new comes to light that makes it all worse. It’s time for the Chad Morris era to end.
I don’t say that lightly, and I realize the implications there. This is a man’s job. But he’s paid over 3 million dollars a year to win football games, and he’s not doing that. This isn’t meant to be a Hogville post either. Hugh Freeze, Art Briles, Bobby Petrino, and Urban Meyer are all scumbags, and we shouldn’t want them here, so let’s end that before it gets started. We don’t have to compromise morally to do well. I don’t think I’m unreasonable to refuse to believe that Petrino and Houston Nutt are the only people who can win in the SEC at Arkansas. With all that said, let’s dive into the misery.
This is one of the worst games I’ve ever seen Arkansas play, and the fans seem to have agreed. The stands were virtually empty on Homecoming Weekend no less. Boos rained down throughout the game. When cheers did come, they were almost sarcastic, given that the cheers were for literally anyone else coming into the game. The fans are done, and finally dear readers, so am I.
Mississippi State is a bad football team. They’ve looked helpless on offense all year, and Joe Moorhead is already on the hot seat. They gutted us for over 300 yards rushing in the first half. They had 640 yards on offense in the whole game. We allowed a bad team to take us to the woodshed— AGAIN— and I think this is the one that broke me.
Morris stuck with Ben Hicks for some reason through the first half, even though it was abundantly clear that the offense wasn’t working with him. When he finally relented after a brutal pick six, John Stephen Jones came in and instantly moved the offense down the field for a touchdown. Imagine that. Young talent succeeds. That wasn’t even the moment of truth though.
K.J. Jefferson entered the game in the fourth quarter to thunderous applause, and proceeded to execute the best quarterbacked drive I’ve seen under Chad Morris. It’s a damning indictment of the entire staff that they can’t recognize talent when it’s there, and can’t coach up that talent if they do see it. Every quarterback who gets the staff’s focus gets worse, so I’m almost fearful to see K.J. play any more under this administration.
I wanted it to work. Chad Morris had a great resume, and seemed like a rising coach we could get on the upswing. He came at the recommendation of great coaches, and it felt like he had the recipe for success. Instead, we got a man who now seems like a clueless fraud. Sure, it was garbage time, but seeing the two young quarterbacks zip the ball down the field while we’ve been subjected to weeks of poor play is sickening. The offense isn’t innovative. It’s stale. Individual talent has propelled this team, not coaching. Rakeem Boyd and Cheyenne O’Grady have been almost solely responsible for success this year, and O’Grady wasn’t even on the team today. Nothing he says in press conferences inspires confidence, and there’s not improvement from year to year. We look worse this year despite having unquestionably better talent.
I don’t see practice, so I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, but I do know that every decision this staff makes in games is wrong. We stick with bad quarterbacks, ignore young potential, and get worse every week. At some point, patience becomes ignorance. The longer Chad Morris remains, the worse we get, as any potential rebuild is set further back. Numbers don’t tell the whole story, but 0-14 in conference play is a terrible start to the story. We’re now on our second 17 game conference losing street since 2012, but where Bret Bielema’s team showed progress and eventually posted back to back shutouts of ranked conference teams, Morris’ team looks just as lost as when he got here. As disappointing as it is, it’s just not going to work.
A new coach will get the opportunity to work with great talent like Treylon Burks, Trey Knox, and K.J. Jefferson, and we’ll likely see them succeed. I have no confidence in Morris to get these guys in a place to succeed. I’m sorry for the players, and I’m sorry for the fans. They all deserve more. We all deserve more. It’s an incredible shame, but we deserve better, and we’re foolish for not demanding better.
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