Now firmly on the hot seat, Arkansas head coach Chad Morris has the final desperate move to save his job: he’s benched both of his transfer quarterbacks in favor of redshirt freshman John Stephen Jones. On the team depth chart released today, true freshman K.J. Jefferson is listed as the backup, with Morris saying that both will play. Ben Hicks and Nick Starkel are not listed.
Morris’ best argument for a third year is for the offense to look respectable with the young players in charge. A win over Western Kentucky on Saturday plus respectable performances against LSU and Missouri will probably be enough for Morris, although no one really knows for sure.
With two mobile quarterbacks now atop the depth chart, expect Morris to go back to his Malzahn roots and run a lot more option stuff designed to stretch the defense and get to the edge. I diagrammed JSJ’s handling of this scheme against Alabama a few weeks ago, and you can read it here.
In the coming weeks we will do plenty of analysis on why the Hicks/Starkel scheme didn’t work like Morris had hoped, but for now, the Hogs need to generate one final push to finish strong.