FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas will try to break a three-game losing skid on Saturday and it won’t be easy as No. 11 Auburn is the opponent.
The Razorbacks are returning to Reynolds Razorback Stadium since they lost a 31-24 game to San Jose State on Sept. 21. Auburn (5-1, 2-1) for the first time since losing to Florida 24-13 on Saturday, Oct. 5, in Gainesville.
Auburn has won the last three meetings between the two schools by at least 31 points marking the first time in school history they have beaten an SEC opponent by at least 30 points three years in a row. Arkansas defensive end Gabe Richardson isn’t concerned with past games against Auburn.
“They’re a good team,” Richardson said. “They’re gonna get our best shot. It will be a good game. We’ll be ready at 11 o’clock.”
Richardson is a senior starter at defensive end and has been called one of the leaders of the team. How has he handled the leadership role with all the younger players on the team that haven’t experienced that?
“Can’t talk about it got you’ve got to show it,” Richardson said. “Continue to push forward. Got to line up and play the best you can because if you don’t that’s what they’re gonna see. There’s no quit in us.”
Is it frustrating being 2-4?
“Of course it is,” Richardson said. “We’ve been preaching finishing since I’ve been here. It’s hard at times. It really is hard dealing with this, but you can’t quit. You’ve got to keep going.”
Cheyenne O’Grady Talks Losing Streak, Quarterbacks
Senior tight end Cheyenne O’Grady also talked about the losing streak that Arkansas has entering Saturday’s game and how the locker room is.
“The locker room, like I said before in past interviews,” O’Grady said. “We’re a whole different team this year. Last year at this time at this point we’re 2-4, starting off like we did last year. Last year we would have had people blaming, complaining, talking just bad noise. This year everybody, they are still coming together and we’re being the same people bringing it every day. Right after the game Saturday we came in Sunday and we came to practice and we practiced hard, and stayed consistent. Just like today we did the same thing. We had great energy and everybody was flying around and it was positive energy all around.”
How have Ben Hicks and Nick Starkel looked this week in practice?
“They’re both consistent,” O’Grady said. “They are battling it out. I’m not sure who is going to be the starter. We’re going to go with who we trust the most and who can make plays for us.”
Is it frustrating that the quarterback battle still lingering on into the seventh game of the season?
“Not for me,” O’Grady said. “Like I said, we’re going to choose the guy who is going to put us in the best position possible. So whether that be Ben or Nick, I don’t know. We’re just going to go with the person or the guy that puts us in the best position to win.”
How did Starkel handle being pulled from the game Saturday night in favor of Hicks?
“He wasn’t down or anything,” O’Grady said. “He accepted it. He was positive about it and supported Ben just like Ben did for Nick. It’s just going to be a continuous battle and like I said we’re going to put the best guy out there.”
State of Team
Promising freshman wide receiver Treylon Burks also talked about the state of the team on Tuesday night.
“I mean, everything’s not promised,” Burks said. “It’s not going our way but we’ll just keep pushing forward and getting better day by day and maybe that miracle might come. We’ll just keep getting better every day at practice.”
Burks also talked about the quarterback battle between Hicks and Starkel.
“I mean it was good,” Burks said. “It really doesn’t matter whose the quarterback. We’re still going to go out there and catch the ball whenever it’s thrown. So we just cheer those guys up every day just to get better and to make us better.”
Hicks has came off the bench the past two games to give Arkansas a lift. Burks talked about that.
“It was good,” Burks said. “He came off and helped the team. You could tell that he’s had a positive attitude about everything. That’s good for the team and our environment.”