The Arkansas Razorbacks will debut new head coach Chad Morris on Saturday afternoon in Fayetteville. The new Hogs coach, hired in the offseason after the departure of Bret Bielema, will be looking to hit the ground running with the Hogs as they prepare to venture into the 2018 season.
They’re coming off a dismal 2017 season, in which they went 4-8 and only picked up one conference victory all year. There were few bright spots along the way, and Hog fans are simply hoping for better results and competitiveness this season. They will have the opportunity to get off to a good start against the Eastern Illinois Panthers.
You may have heard of EIU before, because it’s the former home of both Tony Romo and Jimmy Garoppolo. Those two QBs aren’t around though, obviously, and so the Razorbacks should be able to bust through the Panthers with relative ease on Saturday afternoon.
EIU had 11 players named to the preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference team compiled by the great Phil Steele. Leading the way were Alexander Hollins and Aaron Gooch, EIU’s top receiver and return man. Hollins piled up nearly 700 yards receiving last season while Gooch led the OVC in punt return average (8.7 yards/return).
Naturally, you should be eying the Arkansas runners on Saturday. Namely, Devwah Whaley and Chase Hayden. The dynamic duo is back again for this coming season after both posted terrific 2017 campaigns. Hayden was great as a freshman while Whaley stood out as a sophomore. Another year older and wiser, these two should be one of the best RB combos in the SEC. Cole Kelley, meanwhile, will get the nod at quarterback for the Hogs, as he beat out Ty Storey for the Week 1 starting job.
The defense will again be led by junior McTelvin Agim, who’ll see action at defensive tackle. Experience in the secondary will aid them, as junior Ryan Pulley and senior free safety Santos Ramirez will see the field a lot. As far as others go? Let’s find out if Bumper Pool gets some burn. The freshman has a lot of talent and, I mean, how great of a name is Bumper Pool?
HOW TO WATCH ARKANSAS VS. EIU
Time: 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT
TV: SEC Network
Commentators: Dave Neal, D.J. Shockley, Dawn Davenport
Radio: Arkansas Radio Affiliates
Streaming: You can find this on WatchESPN.