Chad Morris shares Arkansas QB plan for matchup with Alabama
Arkansas switched back to senior Ben Hicks behind center last week against Auburn, but it’s possible the Razorbacks make another change at quarterback.
Who starts this Saturday against Alabama will depend on the health of Hicks, who suffered a shoulder injury in Week 8 versus the Tigers.
“We have not made that (who will start at quarterback) decision,” Morris said in his teleconference Wednesday.
Morris added that Hicks was out at practice Tuesday “working out his soreness” and that he made it through practice. The team will continue to see how he progresses throughout the week.
Hicks has completed about 50 percent of his passes for 692 yards, two touchdowns and one interception this season. He is averaging 5.8 yards per attempt.
Last week against Auburn, Hicks went 19 of 39 for 182 yards with a touchdown and interception.
If he can’t go, Arkansas will have to turn back to junior signal caller Nick Starkel, who has started five games. He has completed 58.7 percent of his attempts for 1,060 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Freshmen John Stephen Jones and K.J. Jefferson are also options behind center. Morris said the team will “continue to bring them along and see how that goes.”
Here’s what else Morris said Wednesday:
- On Alabama’s defense: They are very sound, very athletic. The freshmen that are in there — these guys are dynamic players. When you put that many freshmen on the field and continue to play at a high level, it’s hard to find deficiencies. Very sound.
- On Arkansas’s OL: We have got to protect the QB way better than we did last week, too many hits on the QB. (auburn) were getting pressure with just four… We have guys that are continuing to grow, we have got to get better.
- On Terrell Lewis: He is long, athletic, dropped into pass coverage, very versatile. I know he has battled injuries but when he is out there, you have to account for him.
- On his offense’s success last year: I thought we did a great job mixing our run-pass, and screens… you just can’t make mistakes against a caliber of an opponent like this. you have to get the ball out on the edge, that was part of the gameplan last year.
- On Alabama causing turnovers: As you would expect, early in the year, they had injuries and had to play freshmen. Those guys are growing and getting better each week. They don’t have many deficiencies, we have a great challenge ahead of us and must hold on to the ball and not give them more help than they need.
- On Mac Jones: He has played in 6 of the last 7 games, so you look at that. If you are a QB at Alabama, you are a really good player. He has a great supporting cast.
- On trying to keep the narrative on social media dictating the team: We have talked about this the last few weeks, we have to lock arms and block out the news, we have been talking about this. Stay in your inner circle and keep working.