FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas is in a 17-game losing streak in the SEC.
The last time they were in such a streak they beat LSU 17-0 on Nov. 15, 2014, in Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas then beat Ole Miss 30-0 the following week. Barry Lunney Jr. was asked about the losing streak prior to Wednesday’s practice.
“It has been tough,” Lunney said. “It’s been very tough. It’s a tough game, it’s a grind. A lot of work goes into each week into preparation…six days of it. And when you come up short it’s tough. It’s tough to deal with, it’s disappointing. Even disheartening I should even say at times. This is the second time I’ve seen that. I’ve seen us break through that and become on the other side become great. I believe just on the other side of your great obstacles is your greatest breakthrough. I think it has been tough on our guys, but I don’t really draw a comparison to numbers.
“But our kids, our players and our coaches are overdue for something good to happen to us. It’s not gonna be given to us we’re gonna have to go earn the thing. There’s no way around it. But again, if we will play our best football game of the year this week and then do the same thing the next I firmly believe we’ve gonna have a chance to breakthrough. I believe that.”
Lunney talked about the former Razorbacks coming out to watch and support on Wednesday.
“Fired up about practice today,” Lunney said. “We just had six or seven former players that just decided to come out on their own today and give support to our guys. That’s pretty cool, including Coach (Ken) Hatfield. Some guys that care about the program that came and we got the chance to acknowledge them before practice. And man that means the world to us and to me and our football team. So we’re ready to get after it today and have another good practice.”
Did they have a message?
“They didn’t,” Lunney said. “We weren’t in the motivational speech mode. We wanted to acknowledge them and let them introduce themselves and the era they played and to let our team acknowledge those guys. We have a lot of visitors at practice that come and go and I think it’s important that they (players) recognize that these guys took the time to come out. A very heartfelt gesture by them.”
The former players in addition to Hatfield seen were Grant Cook, Joe Dean Davenport, Tim Smith, James Johnson, Matt Wait, Kenny Sandlin, Bryan White and Austin Tate.
“Of course Coach Hatfield introduced himself as 1962-64 player and I said, ‘That’s the most modest introduction in the history of Arkansas athletics,'” Lunney said. “Because this guy right here was the all-time winningest football coach percentage wise in Arkansas football history. That’s who I grew up watching.”
Lunney also gave some positive injury updates on linebacker Bumper Pool and offensive guard Kirby Adcock.
“He’ll be ready to roll,” Lunney said of Pool. “He’s gotten better and better each day. The open date came at a perfect time for him from a health standpoint. He’s full go.
“[Adcock] (has) been progressing in the right direction. He’s been practicing with no limitations so he’s ready to roll.”
The news probably isn’t as good for wide receiver and kickoff returner De’Vion Warren.
“Probably a little further away with him,” Lunney said. “It may not be until next week. He may be out this week. It’s not ruled out completely yet. But I would say he’s questionable at best.”
Saturday’s game will mark the last time De’Jon (Scoota) Harris plays in his homestate. Lunney was asked if he has seen something different with Harris?
“I have,” Lunney said. “One of the first things he said. He’s one of the guys I reached out to during this just to kind of get a pulse. He’s on our leadership committee and that was the first thing he said that he was actually embracing the fact that the game was at night and was hoping to experience that.
“That doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be a tough environment but if you are going to go do it he wanted to do it with the whole enchilada so to speak. He’s been really focused along with all of them. But he’s led that charge in a lot of ways. I think our players know, and there’s others, Joe Foucha, Andrew Parker, Greg Brooks .. this is important to them, also. But this is Scoota’s last time to suit up against them. We’re taking all of our guys to give their best. That’s all we want, to give their best.”
Connor Limpert will serve as the offensive captain this week. He joins the regular captains of Harris, McTelvin Agim and T.J. Smith.