FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas only had senior cornerback Dwight McGlothern for one play on Saturday in a 28-6 win over Kent State due to injury.
McGlothern was in for the first snap on defense, but was quickly replaced by TCU transfer Kee’yon Stewart. Following the game, Sam Pittman explained McGlothern’s absence.
“Nudie has turf toe,” Pittman said. “So we were checking him out before the game and he didn’t move very well. Then we put him out there the first play and he didn’t move very well, so we put Stewart out there. And I thought he (Stewart) played pretty good. That was a hell of a pass that the kid made there at the end. But I thought he had a pretty good game. Nudie had turf toe.”
Stewart, who was suspended for the season opener, finished with one tackle in the game. In the win over Western Carolina to open the season, McGlothern had a tackle, one for loss and intercepted a pass he returned 16 yards.
Arkansas has 10 transfers who play a lot of football on defense. Five of them started on Saturday and the others saw extensive action including Stewart. Pittman is happy to have the group on his team.
“Well, I think they played well defensively,” Pittman said. “I don’t know, we had a lot of sacks and things of that nature. They haven’t scored many points on us, but I was frustrated at half because we couldn’t get off the field. We weren’t giving up points, but there was very much time — the game plan was going exactly like they wanted it to go, minus scoring a lot of points. But I think every one of those guys are contributing to us. I mean, what would happen if we didn’t have Stewart today? Obviously, Jaheim (Singletary) on the other side, you’re talking about all these guys on the inside — (Antonio) Grier picked a pass for a touchdown. So yeah, we were very fortunate we hit pretty good for what we think.”
For the second week in a row, Cincinnati transfer linebacker Jaheim Thomas led the team in tackles, He had 12 tackles, three solo, two for loss and 1.5 sacks. However, it was the pick-6 play by Grier, who came from USF, that had Thomas talking afterward.
“I was happy for him,” Thomas said. “I was definitely excited for him. So when I saw him just jump and make the play I ran over there and started celebrating with him because you know that’s big for the first play as a Razorback having a pick six. That’s great! I was excited.”
Arkansas has allowed one touchdown in two weeks. Thomas talked about how all the transfers are making an impact.
“Everybody came in and worked,” Thomas said. “We’ve been working all camp, all summer for this, so being able to come in and gel together, being able to push each other, push all of us, we feel like that’s really helping us, and just really helping us continue to grow as a defense.”
Missouri defensive end transfer Trajan Jeffcoat, who is a captain, had three tackles, a solo, two for loss and 1.5 sacks in the win on Saturday. He also chimed in on the impact of the transfers.
“Yeah, we’re a family,” Jeffcoat said. “When I came in, when Jaheim came in, everybody welcomed us with open arms. So when we have that companionship, we just want to play hard for each other. So that’s definitely a big thing for everyone.”
Arkansas will be back in Razorback Stadium on Saturday to host BYU at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2. Both teams enter with perfect 2-0 records.