FAYETTEVILLE — Running back Trelon Smith redshirted at Arkansas last fall after transferring in from Arizona State.
Smith entered the 2020 season as the backup to senior Rakeem Boyd, but an injury to Boyd in the Mississippi State game has opened up the chance for the transfer to play more. In a 30-28 loss to Auburn on Saturday night, Smith rushed 21 times for 81 yards and then caught six passes for 78 yards and a touchdown.
Following the game and a controversial ending, Smith talked about the loss.
“I feel like we let one get away from us today,” Smith said. “I feel like we could’ve beat those guys, but I feel like we did good overall as a team. We never gave up. We made a big comeback towards the end. We played our butts off. That’s all I could ask for.”
Arkansas fell down 17-0 before they got the offense jumpstarted. What happened to get the offense going?
“We just had to get the first first down,” Smith said. “Once we moved the chains we could start tempo. With tempo we were able to fatigue the defense. Once we got that started we were able to put the ball in the end zone and start to make a comeback.”
Last week, Smith and his teammates went on the road and beat a ranked team in Mississippi State. Tonight, they had a chance to beat another ranked team on the road. What does this mean for this team?
“Me personally, I feel like we can compete with anybody,” Smith said. “Anybody on the schedule… Alabama, Auburn, that stuff. This team is a lot different from last year. We are way more improved across the whole board. Defense, offense and special teams. I really like what we’ve got going on, and we should have a lot more wins this year.”
While Boyd wasn’t even able to make the trip, Smith credited the senior captain with helping prepare him for the game.
“Rakeem helped me a lot actually,” Smith said. “Sitting in the film room watching film together. Studying Auburn together. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to make it, but he was on my side the whole time throughout the week leading to this game. I thank Rakeem for that.”
Smith then critiqued his own play considering this was his first start at Arkansas.
“Me personally I feel like I stepped up to the plate,” Smith said. “I felt like I did what I was supposed to do in the run game, pass blocking game and also the passing game. I feel like I did a good job across the whole board and moving forward toward the next game. I just plan on just staying neutral, steady working and just getting the job done when my number is called.”
Smith also had praise for quarterback Feleipe Franks who had another outstanding game. Franks passed for 318 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions while also rushing for 28 more yards.
“Feleipe, man, he’s a hell of a quarterback,” Smith said. “I’ve never seen Feleipe in panic mode. He’s always the type of guy to come over on the sideline and motivate everybody to keep going, keep pushing, next play. He always tells us forget about the next play and move on to the next play. He’s a true leader on this football team.”
While the controversial ending was hard to handle, Smith said Sam Pittman praised them following the game.
“He just told us he was proud of us,” Smith said. “You know he couldn’t ask nothing more. We went out there and gave it our all. Even though we came up short and we fought back that’s all he could ask for.”
After three games, Smith leads the team in rushing with 41 carries for 167 yards and in receptions with 14 for 113 yards and a touchdown.