With top-ranked Alabama on tap, Arkansas, a five-touchdown underdog, is going to need all hands on deck if they hope to pull off a huge Week 6 upset. Unfortunately for the Hogs, that likely won’t be the case.
Devwah Whaley suffered a concussion during the Sept. 22 loss to Auburn, and then missed the following weekend’s loss to Texas A&M because of the ongoing issue. As the clock ticks down toward Saturday’s noon ET kickoff in Fayetteville, first-year head coach Chad Morris confirmed that the running back is doubtful to play against the Crimson Tide.
Per Morris, Whaley has not yet been cleared from concussion protocol and hasn’t even practiced with the team since sustaining the head injury.
Whaley currently leads the Razorbacks with 231 yards rushing and is tied for the team lead with a pair of rushing touchdowns. Sophomore Rakeem Boyd is second on the team with 192 yards on the ground, and his 6.2 yards per carry leads all runners with 20 or more carries.
In addition to the update on Whaley, Morris also confirmed a pair of players, tight end Jeremy Patton and defensive tackle Briston Guidry, recently underwent surgeries but are expected back at some point this season. Patton suffered an ankle injury in the A&M game, while Guidry had his knee cleaned up from a previous injury.
Patton’s five receptions this season are the most for any Razorbacks tight end. Guidry has played in all five games this season and is listed as a backup defensive tackle.
The 2018 season has not gotten off to the start Arkansas fans were hoping to see. After three straight losses have dropped the Razorbacks to a woeful 1-3 record, wide receiver Jonathan Nance has decided he is ready to move on from the program and look for a fresh slate.
Nance took to Twitter to announce his intention to transfer from the Razorbacks. He also noted he will use the 2018 season as a redshirt season, as he qualifies for that redshirt eligibility after appearing in the maximum games allowed before being forced to burn a year of eligibility under the NCAA’s new redshirt rule.
“I want to thank Arkansas and my coaches for giving me [an] opportunity to compete on this level,” Nance said in his Twitter statement.”It has been a great ride and have made life long friends that I will never take for granted.”
After leading Arkansas in receiving in 2017 with 37 receptions for 539 yards and five touchdowns, Nance caught just one pass for a loss of two yards in 2018. Nance will have one final year of eligibility to use wherever he lands next. There has been no indication of where his next stop may be at this time.
Nance’s announcement to transfer after four games may be a hint of things to come under the new redshirt rule. Because players can appear in up to four games before eligibility for the year is officially used up, it would not be shocking to see more players decide to make their transfer plans around this time of year after getting a sense of how the season may be going for them and having an idea where they fit in, or in Nance’s case, don’t fit in under a new scheme or a new coach.
The second leg of the Chad Morris era in Fayetteville hit a bit of an unexpected speedbump in Fort Collins Saturday night.
A 64-yard Cole Kelley touchdown pass to T.J. Hammonds with 7:28 left in the third quarter gave Arkansas a 27-9 lead over homestanding Colorado State. Over the next 22:28, however, the Razorbacks were outscored 25-0 as the Rams closed out a come-from-behind 34-27 win.
K.J. Carta-Samuels, the graduate transfer quarterback from Washington, led the comeback as he tossed a pair of touchdowns, one late in the third and the other early in the fourth, to close the gap to 27-24 with 11:07 left. A Wyatt Bryan field goal, his fourth make in as many attempts in the game, with 5:19 left tied the game; Izzy Matthews‘ four-yard touchdown run with a mere eight seconds left on the clock was the game-winner.
Amazingly, Arkansas lost despite rushing for 299 yards while holding CSU to 40 on the ground. Carta-Samuels, however, threw for 389 yards, a performance that proved to be the difference.
Arkansas hadn’t lost to a Group of Five team since stumbling against Toledo in September of 2015. Conversely, Colorado State beat a Power Five team for the second time in as many years, the first coming in the 2017 season opener against Oregon State. Most notably, it marks Colorado State’s second-ever win over a team from the SEC, with the first coming in 1992 against LSU.
CSU, whose head coach, Mike Bobo, is the former offensive coordinator at Georgia, had come into the game 0-2 on the season, having lost to Hawaii by nine points in Week 0 and then by 32 to Colorado in Week 1.
Another day, another one of these releases that signal yet another college football season is fast approaching.
The Doak Walker Award became the latest to release its offseason watch list, with a whopping 62 players comprising its initial grouping. The award has been handed out annually since 1990 to the nation’s top running back and is named in honor of the famed SMU halfback.
Headlining this year’s watch list is Stanford’s Bryce Love, who was named the 2017 winner of the Doak Walker Award. The list also features 2017 finalist Jonathan Taylor from Wisconsin, and semifinalists from last year Justice Hill from Oklahoma State and Devin Singletary from Florida Atlantic.
The ACC led all conferences with 10 players, followed by the SEC (nine), Pac-12 (eight), Big Ten (seven) and the Big 12 and MAC with six each. The next wave includes four apiece for Conference USA and Mountain West, three each for the AAC and the Sun Belt as well as two for those from Independents (BYU, UMass).
A total of three schools have two backs each listed: Florida State (Cam Akers, Jacques Patrick), Arkansas (Chase Hayden, Devwah Whaley) and Western Michigan (LeVante Bellamy, Jamauri Bogan).
There’s been yet another personnel change at a Power Five school a couple of weeks before summer camp kicks off.
In an update released earlier this week, Brandon Martin is no longer listed on Arkansas’ roster. Citing sources close to the program, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette writes that the wide receiver “has run into an academic issue and is trying to regain his eligibility.”
Per a school spokesperson, however, the door has been left open for Martin, who would be a redshirt junior this season, to eventually return to the Razorbacks football team. Martin’s head coach, though, doesn’t seem as optimistic.
“Don’t know if he will become part of our roster again,” Chad Morris said at the SEC Media Days Tuesday. “I don’t know at this point. ..
“I do not see that happening right now,” the head coach added when asked if he could see the receiver rejoining the team this year.
Martin came to Arkansas from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, rated as the No. 1 junior college receiver in the Class of 2017 and the No. 7 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite rankings.
In his first year in Fayetteville, Martin caught nine passes for 119 yards. Both of those totals were eighth on the Razorbacks, while his 13.2 yards per reception was sixth on the team.