Last season, the wheels came off the track early for Chad Morris and his Arkansas program when the Razorbacks suffered surprising nonconference defeats to Colorado State on the road and North Texas at home. Those losses set the tone for what was the worst season in the history of the proud Arkansas football program and the challenge this season is not allowing the same thing to happen following Saturday night’s disaster against San Jose State.

Coming off the 31-24 home loss to the Mountain West opponent, Arkansas now limps into the Texas A&M game with a 2-2 record on the season looking for the first win over Texas A&M since the Aggies joined the SEC.

If Arkansas is going to pull off the massive upset this weekend in Arlington, the Razorbacks are going to need Nick Starkel to have a big bounce back after the former Texas A&M signal-caller threw five interceptions against San Jose State. Those turnovers were the key to the game last weekend and simply cannot happen against an Aggie defense that is one of the best in the division.

During his Monday afternoon press conference, Chad Morris was asked about his quarterback’s state of mind and how he expects Starkel to bounce back after the rough outing.

“He’s been down and as I shared with him, this comes with being a quarterback. We gotta pull ourselves up and he understands that. He was back in here yesterday and today, he will respond,” Morris said. “He didn’t play to his standard or our standard. You play this game long enough and if he continues to play this game long enough, this probably won’t be the last time he feels like he didn’t play his best ball. But how you handle that, how you deal with that, is what’s going to define you, as what’s going to define our football team.

“How we handle things. The past is behind us, Saturday is behind us. We can’t dwell on that. What we dwell on is how are we going to fix it and how we are going to get our mindset ready to go. It started yesterday getting back to work and Nick was one of the first guys in here ready to go.”

The Razorbacks will have an opportunity to prove just how far they have come in one season starting this Saturday as the first loss of the season quickly turned into six consecutive and 10 defeats in 11 outings. If that happens again, Morris may not survive to see Year 3 in Fayetteville.