Chad Morris on why he named Nick Starkel starter this week, how Ben Hicks handled news
Arkansas made a quarterback change this week ahead of the non-conference game against Colorado State. Nick Starkel will get the starting nod, while Ben Hicks will now become the backup.
Chad Morris discussed that decision Wednesday on the SEC Coaches Teleconference.
On Nick Starkel
I think we saw in the second half that there was a lot more consistency, and we got into more of a groove and a rhythm. I expect that this week. He has arm talent that stretches sideline to sideline and down the field. … He is the same guy, but now he has more input on the offense.
On Ben Hicks and telling him he’s not the starter
Everyone is a competitor. … But Ben was very professional. It was the right decision. It’s a tough league, and he has to be ready if his time comes again. … He appreciated the candor, and I think that goes back to our relationship.
Morris also touched on other topics Wednesday:
- On the importance of this game: I think how we respond will tell a lot about us. We have more games ahead of us, but this is the more important game because it’s the only one we got this week. … Last year this game lingered for weeks. … I expect nothing but a great response.
- On CJ O’Grady: I thought it looked like his first ball game. He did some things — made a good catch across the middle, but we were not as physical as we need to be in the run game with him but we anticipate this week being even better.
- On Mike Woods: I think Mike, being somewhat of a vet, he’s still just a sophomore, but he got a lot of reps last year. … The speed of the game is slowing down for him, and he is growing and learning every day. … We need his leadership and experience out there on the field.
- On Colorado State’s defense: This is a much-improved team from what we saw last year, and defensively, very active, very disruptive. … Their linebackers are active, and they do a great job of getting pressure and mixing up their pressures.
- On Coach Bobo and his relationship: I know him fairly well, from his time at Georgia and my time at Clemson.