Hogs Remain Hopeful

Alex Kern

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The 2018 Arkansas Razorback football season was possibly the worst football season in school history. The team finished with a 2-10 record and an 0-8 conference record. The awful play on the field is no secret, as the hogs ranked last in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) total offense and second to last in defense according SEC Sports. Arkansas played four different quarterbacks and threw 18 interceptions this season, which is significantly higher than it should be. First year head coach Chad Morris brought a very young staff with him and had an extremely tough task inheriting a team that went 4-8 in 2017. Most expected to see signs of improvement from 2017 with multiple key players returning. Instead, the team was set back compared to the previous year which gave them a large disadvantage this season. ”Completely unacceptable. Unacceptable in all areas. Unacceptable coaching. Unacceptable playing. Unacceptable effort,” Morris said after a 52-6 loss to Mississippi State. Even though 2018 was an absolute embarrassment of a season for the hogs, there may still be hope for this football team.

Despite the lack of talent on the team, Chad Morris did a fantastic job in the recruiting department. The 2019 Arkansas football recruiting class is ranked 11th in the nation according Rivals, which is the best in the University’s history. Recruiting was Morris’s specialty in his time as the offensive coordinator of Clemson, where he is given a lot of credit for their current success. However, one of Clemson’s former quarterbacks, Kelly Bryant, decided to leave the school in October 2018 and decided to play for Missouri over Arkansas for the 2019 season. This isn’t seen as huge loss for Arkansas, as they still have two four star freshman quarterbacks, along with three four star receivers and a five star tight end coming in. All in all, the 2019 recruiting class will almost certainly make a difference in the coming years.

Chad Morris went 2-10 in his first season as the head coach of SMU. By his third season, he had transformed SMU to a solid 8-5 team. That may not say much, but SMU had gone 1-11 the year before Morris took the job. Before SMU, Morris was the offensive coordinator of Clemson from 2011 to 2014. Clemson had not had a ten win season since 1990 before Morris got there. A year after Morris left, Clemson made it to the National Championship, something that would have been unthinkable four years earlier. “At the end of the day, you’ve gotta go recruit. I think (Chad Morris) did that at SMU. You can be a great coach… you better go recruit some players. It’s all about the players,” Dabo Swinney, Clemson head coach, said. It will be a slow and gradual process, but Arkansas’s football future looks very bright despite the horrible 2018 season.

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