Arkansas defeated Eastern Illinois 55-20 on Saturday in its season opener, but that was in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
This week, the Hogs will travel to Fort Collins to take on a reeling, but dangerous Colorado State squad. The Rams are 0-2 having lost at home to Hawaii and to Colorado on a neutral field in Denver.
Chad Morris knows the Hogs will get Colorado State’s best shot. He talked about what a win would mean to this team.
“I think anytime you can get a win period it’s a big-time plus,” Morris said. “But traveling on the road against a tough opponent, their backs against the wall and they’re well-coached. They’re gonna be ready to go. The crowd will be into it. We’ve just got to take care of the Arkansas Razorbacks.”
The Hogs are favored by 14 points with the over/under being set at 70. The line started out with the Razorbacks favored by 11 points and has gone up since then.
Here’s five keys for Arkansas to lead Colorado 2-0 on the season.
1. Play Sound Defense — Colorado State has a very explosive passing game. Their running game is average and their defense isn’t good, but they do have a very good quarterback and some talented receivers. The Hogs gave up six explosive plays last week. They have to avoid giving up the big plays, easy touchdowns to Colorado State. K.J. Carta-Samuels will go right at Chevin Calloway and the young sophomore cornerback needs to show he is up to the test. Teams are going to continue to go at him and avoid Ryan Pulley until he proves he can beat them. Carta-Samuels has 713 yards passing and six touchdowns in two games. Preston Williams and Olabisi Johnson are great wide receivers.
2. Win Turnover Battle — Last week, Arkansas forced five turnovers while not giving up one. That type difference can’t be expected each week, but Arkansas needs to win the turnover war here. Carta-Samuels has been intercepted twice this season.The Rams haven’t lost a fumble yet so they have only had two turnovers in two games. The Hogs need to force some in this game.
3. Put Points, Then More Points on the Board — Colorado State is giving up 44 points and 606.5 yards per game. So Arkansas needs to not turn the ball over and just run up and down the field on the Rams. Ty Storey and Cole Kelley should have big games on Saturday. Storey will likely get the start after coming off the bench last week. He passed for 261 yards and three touchdowns as well as rushed for another.
4. Run the Ball With Success — Arkansas didn’t run the ball well against EIU. Arkansas only gained 80 yards on 37 rushes this past Saturday. That won’t win many games. Colorado State is averaging giving up 228.5 yards per game on the ground. Arkansas may have a revamped left side of its offensive line for this game. Kirby Adcock and Shane Clenin started the opener. Ty Clary and Austin Capps are expected to get reps at left guard while Clenin, Dalton Wagner and Noah Gatlin all could see action at left tackle. Dylan Hays if healthy could also get a look at left guard.
5. Jump on Rams Early — Morris expects to get Colorado State’s best shot. Their backs are against the wall. The way to deflate a team that is 0-2 is jump on them early, take the home crowd out of it and not let them hang around. The longer the Rams are in this game the more confidence they will have. So Arkansas needs to come out and take immediate control of this game.