By Otis Kirk
Arkansas will be without junior cornerback Ryan Pulley and sophomore safety Kamren Curl on Friday when the Razorbacks take on Missouri.
Both Curl and Pulley were identified as the two players socializing with members of the Mississippi State dance team on Saturday in Starkville. Chad Morris addressed the suspension on Monday during his press conference.
“Starting yesterday, I suspended Ryan Pulley and Kam Curl,” Morris said. “They will not be here today or yesterday or any part of this week for unacceptable behavior, for actions that are completely unacceptable with what we’re about.”
Both Curl and Pulley played in Arkansas’ 52-6 loss to the Bulldogs. Pulley finished with one tackle while Curl added four. Arkansas defensive coordinator John Chavis talked about the actions of Curl and Pulley.
“I really don’t like to talk about this and coach has said enough, but I’m very disappointed,” Chavis said. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s enough said. Very disappointed, they understand that, I understand that. Listen, when you start looking at it it’s about perception, and even though that was not acceptable … it’s really perception.
“Here we are fighting to develop the kind of culture where you’re going to have a winning attitude by every guy that walks on that field … and again, I’m not questioning their character, but the perception was not very good and it had to be addressed and our head coach has handled that. I’m with him 100 percent.”
Not having Curl and Pulley this game will make it more difficult, but what do you do in the secondary?
“We’re gonna….you have to prepare for these situations,” Chavis said. “We’ve got two freshmen who will be playing safety for us. We haven’t made all the decisions at corner. But we’ll have four corners and four safeties we’re gonna go into the game with and try to keep them fresh.
“Get them ready to compete. That’s the way it is. It’s next man up. That’s what they came here for to be an Arkansas Razorback and get an opportunity to play. The opportunity is there and we’re gonna see how ready we can get them. I’m sure they’ll be excited about playing on Friday afternoon.”
Myles Mason and Joe Foucha are the two freshmen safeties. Morris mentioned some possibilities for the secondary.
“Well we’ve got other guys,” Morris said. “That’s why they give us other guys to step up. I mean, you know, I thought Britto Tutt did some good things when he got in there. He’s going to have to step up. Jarques McClellion, he’s going to have to continue to step up. Joe Foucha, Myles Mason. I mean these guys have got to step up.”
Other than what you have talked about do you expect any other lineup changes?
“I don’t anticipate many,” Morris said. “I thought we had some young guys that competed well last week. Again, we’ll continue to bring those guys along. There were some bright spots. I thought Dorian Gerald played well. It was great to see La’Michael Pettway make a 50/50 ball, make a catch. Mike Woods continues to continue to play well. Rakeem Boyd, I don’t anticipate roster moves outside of what we already discussed.”
Wide receiver Koilan Jackson got in the game late. What’s his recovery been like? How’s he factor in to future plans?
“He’s done a really good job in the development (periods) that we’ve had over the last three weeks,” Morris said. “He’s been on scout team all year long, has done a good job there, really kind of playing himself into shape, really making some plays on scout team. About the last three weeks, he’s really kind of started to really separate himself. It was good to see and I’m glad he was able to travel.”
Arkansas and Missouri will kickoff at 1:30 on Friday in Columbia. The game will be televised on CBS.