From The Desk Of Hunter Yurachek

Pig Trail Nation

Photo Courtesy: University of Arkansas Athletics

Wooo Pig Sooiee!!!  What a Weekend!

It is always a great time to be an Arkansas Razorback, but this past weekend was certainly something special. The last week was full of plenty of highlights, but certainly none more exciting than a 21-14 football road win at No. 16 Mississippi State, giving Coach Sam Pittman his first win as a head coach at the University of Arkansas.

I was honored to have an opportunity to present Coach Pittman the game ball for his first win at Arkansas in the locker room. Nothing is more exciting than a post-game celebration after a big conference win.

Not everything went to plan on Saturday night in Starkville. There were injuries to key players and other moments of adversity, but this Razorback team never lost its focus. I could not be prouder of the collective commitment and effort from all associated with our football program. We have much more to do. However, this was a significant first step on the road to some exciting days ahead!

Soccer Success
The Razorback football win was not the only key conference win this past weekend. On Sunday, the No. 9 Razorback Soccer team capped the weekend by earning a hard fought 2-1 win over No. 5 Texas A&M at Razorback Field.

With the victory, the Razorbacks moved to 3-0 on the season and put themselves in a good early position to defend their SEC regular season championship. Parker Goins and Kayla McKeon each scored goals in the victory on Senior Day. No better way to recognize six Razorback seniors than with a win over a top-five national opponent.

Cross Country Dominance
The memorable weekend got off to a great start early on Saturday morning. After earning a perfect score in its first meet at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Razorback women outpaced the competition again this past weekend at the Gans Creek Classic in Columbia, Missouri. Lauren Gregory led the way for the Razorbacks, finishing second individually in the race and helping Arkansas to a total of 20 points. Host Missouri was second with 61 points.

The men’s cross country team fared well in its opener at the SEC Preview meet in Baton Rouge. Emmanuel Cheboson led the Hogs to a team victory, outdistancing second-place Ole Miss by eight points in the first meet of the season.

Both the women’s and men’s cross country teams will compete next at the Arturo Barrios Invitation in College Station, Texas, on October 17 as a final tune up before the SEC Cross Country Championships in Baton Rouge on October 30.

 
Additional Sport Updates

  • Men’s Tennis – Arkansas opened the fall season in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and earned 15 wins on the weekend, including three on the final day of competition on Sunday against Mississippi State.
  • Women’s Tennis – The women’s tennis team opened its fall slate at the TCU Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas. Freshman Indianna Spink swept her competition on the weekend, taking home three singles wins and three doubles wins with teammate Morgan Cross.

COVID Update
Even before seven of our teams took the court, course or field this weekend, our program had already achieved some noteworthy success. Many had concerns, and rightfully so, on whether collegiate sports could be played safely in a pandemic. However, with the comprehensive testing and safety protocols that have been in place, we have been able to afford a Razorback Athletics bubble that has mitigated the risk.

As anticipated, when school returned to session, we had a slight uptick in positive cases. However, I am pleased to report that in the past week of comprehensive testing, with over 1,000 tests conducted, we have had 0 positives and have only one active case currently among our student-athletes.

I am extremely proud of our student-athletes, coaches, medical team and staff for all they have done to make our return to play successful. Specifically, I would like to recognize our team physicians, led by Dr. Chris Arnold and Dr. Kent Hagan, our Deputy Athletics Director Derita Dawkins, Director of Sports Medicine Dave England and all of our athletic trainers, facilities staff and sports nutrition staff for their tireless efforts.

We have come so far, but still have many days ahead of us as we work together to continue our seasons safely and responsibly.

Home at the Blessings
The Razorback men’s and women’s golf teams will open their fall seasons at a familiar place – their home course at The Blessings Golf Club. Beginning today, Arkansas will host all 13 other Southeastern Conference schools for a three-day tournament (October 5-7) that will feature both men’s and women’s team competition.

Due to the pandemic, the tournament will not be able to host fans. However, fans can catch live action from the inaugural Blessings Collegiate Intercollegiate, sponsored by Tyson Foods, on the Golf Channel each day from 2:30-6:30 p.m.

The tournament was developed following the very successful 2019 NCAA Golf Championships, hosted at The Blessings. Thank you to John Tyson, Richard Cromwell and all those at The Blessings for their continued support of the University of Arkansas and collegiate golf.

Hog Hoops Dates Set
It will not be long before the Razorback men’s and women’s basketball teams will be hitting the floor for the upcoming season. Recently, the SEC announced starting dates for conference play in both men’s and women’s basketball.

Coach Eric Musselman and the Razorback men will open SEC play on December 29 or December 30. While Coach Mike Neighbors and the Razorback women’s basketball team will open conference play on December 31.

In September, the NCAA Division I Council approved a November 25 start date for the 2020-21 men’s and women’s college basketball seasons. Teams can begin preseason practice on October 14 and will have a 42-day window to conduct no more than 30 practices.

Final schedules in both men’s and women’s basketball as well as protocols, including capacity for attendance at games, will be announced in coming weeks.

Coming Together for Equality
All of our Razorback teams will be donning a special patch this year in support of a student-athlete led initiative to promote equality. Student-athlete leaders developed the patch and a special video as part of a commitment to help ensure that every individual, regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs or sexual orientation has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents.

I am proud of our student-athletes for developing and promoting a message that is aimed at bringing the Razorback Nation together rather than dividing it.

Listen Up
If you haven’t already, check out the Razorback Daily Podcast, hosted by the Voice of the Razorbacks Chuck Barrett. In less than 15 minutes, you can stay up to date on what is going on in the Razorback Nation.

Have a little more time to tune in? Be sure to download the latest HogPod episode for conversations with current and former Razorbacks.

Virtual ONE Razorback OpenThe Razorback Foundation has come up with an innovative approach to help rally Razorback fans together, while remaining socially distant. The Virtual ONE Razorback Open will tee off on Monday, October 19 and run through Sunday, October 25.

You can join in the virtual tournament scramble by registering as an individual or forming a team and playing 18 holes of golf. A complimentary Razorback Foundation membership is included in each registration and there are plenty of prizes up for grabs. So, tee it up and play some golf while supporting the Razorbacks! For more information or to register for the Virtual ONE Razorback Open click here.

Virtual ONE Razorback OpenThe Razorback Foundation has come up with an innovative approach to help rally Razorback fans together, while remaining socially distant. The Virtual ONE Razorback Open will tee off on Monday, October 19 and run through Sunday, October 25.

You can join in the virtual tournament scramble by registering as an individual or forming a team and playing 18 holes of golf. A complimentary Razorback Foundation membership is included in each registration and there are plenty of prizes up for grabs. So, tee it up and play some golf while supporting the Razorbacks! For more information or to register for the Virtual ONE Razorback Open click here.

Razorbacks Coming SoonMGF/WGF       October 5-7                 Blessings Intercollegiate, Golf Channel
FB                    October 10                  at Auburn, 3 p.m., SEC Network
WTN                October 10                  at Oklahoma, 2 p.m.
SOC                 October 11                  at Alabama, 2 p.m., ESPNU
SOC                 October 16                  South Carolina, 7 p.m., SECN+
MTN                October 16                  vs. Auburn (at Nashville, Tenn.)
MTN                October 16                  vs. Kentucky (at Nashville, Tenn.)
FB                    October 17                  Ole Miss, Homecoming, 2:30 p.m., ESPN2
MXC/WXC       October 17                  SEC Championships (at College Station, Texas)
VB                    October 17                  at Mississippi State, TBA, SECN+
VB                    October 18                  at Mississippi State, Noon, ESPNU

Hog Yeahs……..

  • Razorback Foundation Members – Thank you to everyone who generously donated your football season ticket refunds to the ONE Razorback Fund! The donations provided much needed support for our student-athletes during the pandemic and will help offset some of the significant loss of revenues that are annually re-invested into our sport programs.
  • Joe Foucha and Bumper Pool – Arkansas junior defensive back Joe Foucha and junior linebacker Bumper Pool have both garnered SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors after their stellar performances in the Razorbacks 21-14 win at No. 16 Mississippi State.
  • Parker Goins – Senior forward Parker Goins was named SEC Offensive Player of the week for her performance against No. 5 Texas A&M. Goins scored her second goal of the season to give the Razorbacks a lead they would never relinquish
  • Anna Podojil – The sophomore earned United Soccer Coaches Player of the Week honors for her play in Arkansas’ 4-1 soccer win over Kentucky. Podojil scored two goals and assisted on the Razorbacks’ other two goals in the victory.
  • MLB Playoff Razorbacks – Eight former Razorbacks had their teams advance to the Major League Baseball postseason. Seven former players and one former coach were included on teams that made the playoffs.

A lot to look forward to in the weeks ahead. We look forward to seeing you On the Hill!
Go Hogs!

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