FAYETTEVILLE — Redshirt sophomore Malik Hornsby was ticketed to play some wide receiver this season, but that hasn’t materialized like it was planned.

But Hornsby came off the bench at quarterback on Arkansas’ second possession against Mississippi State and provided a huge spark to the Hogs’ offense on Saturday. Sam Pittman had said the previous week that Cade Fortin was the No. 2 quarterback, but following Hornsby’s showing against the Bulldogs that is no longer the case.

“Yeah, I talked to Malik again,” Pittman said. Monday. “Kind of had a Monday meeting with him last week. He certainly earned that spot on Saturday. I just gave him his choice whether he wanted to stay where he was as the two quarterback now or whether he wanted to move to wideout or if he was interested in moving to corner. Obviously, the team needs some defensive back help.

“He’ll have to explain more than I can with it, but there was a big weight lifted off his back I think with the way he performed. I think he validated what he thought about himself as a quarterback and what the team did. He wants to stay right there and be ready if needed at quarterback and not necessarily do the wide receiver/quarterback and all that stuff and be ready when needed as the No. 2 quarterback.”

On Saturday, Hornsby completed 8 of 17 passes for 234 yards, two interceptions and a touchdown. He also led the team in rushing with eight carries for 114 yards. Despite Hornsby’s performance the Hogs dropped their third game in a row. Arkansas had a losing streak of the same length last season, but Pittman said this one is different.

“I think the difference in this year and last year when we went on a three-game losing streak is I think the health of the team was a little bit better,” Pittman said. “We had won four instead of three before that. Our next game was Pine Bluff instead of BYU. There’s some differences in the scheduling. Differences in the health of the team. But I think we can go back onto we lost three in a row last year and ended up in the Top 20 in the country and finished out strong.

“We’re all disappointed. I don’t know if it’s just the losses or how we’ve played the last two weeks. I wouldn’t put A&M in there. We made some mistakes there at the end of the A&M game the second half, but the last two weeks we just haven’t played well. Made some mistakes. Have to get better as coaches. In a nutshell, we’ve lost three games and we need it to stop. I think our team understands that. I don’t think there’s anyway we’ve lost the team or anything. I know that’s not the question you’re asking, but I feel real comfortable we’ll have a good week at practice and be excited to go play. Get our quarterback back and hopefully we’ll be able to get (Myles) Slusher back. It’s still up in the air right now.”

Arkansas will take on BYU at 2:30 Saturday.