By Otis Kirk
Arkansas quarterback Ty Storey will try to lead the Razorbacks to their first SEC victory on Saturday in Starkville.
Storey has completed 123 of 216 passes for 1,423 yards and 11 touchdowns this season along with eight interceptions. He also has 58 carries for 200 yards and one touchdown.
Here’s a Q&A with Storey.
Q: On Tuesday you guys practiced outside when the windchill was 25 degrees. How was that?
TS: Yeah, it was fun. It was football weather. But it was definitely a little cold, but I thought we flew around really well and we threw and caught it really well for as cold as it was.
Q: Do you remember much about the cowbells when you were in Starkville in 2016?
TS: Yeah, definitely. We’re going to have to do some different stuff just because of that. But that’s kind of their thing. It’s part of it. Part of a road SEC game. It’s always going to be loud. That’s just the thing they go to.
Q: What else do you remember about the game in 2016?
TS: We didn’t punt. I don’t think we punted the ball at all did we? Our offense was on fire that night. So I mean that was obviously a really good game for us.
Q: How important is it to get off to a fast start on Saturday and not have to play from behind?
TS: Yeah we need to. It seemed like we weren’t really into that game until later in the second half, so we know that’s really important for us. We’re stressing that as we’ve got to start quick and keep going, build off of that.
Q: It seems like with this team when you run the hurry up the offense moves the ball better, is that how you feel?
TS: I think a lot of that has to do with because that’s kind of our motto. If we get a big play we’re going to keep going and try to pick up the pace. I think that’s the most key thing is getting that first big play and building off that. It seemed like we were just a couple of blocks away or maybe a pass in the right spot away from kind of getting that going early on and that’s what we’ll need to do this week.
Q: You have faced good defensive lines all season, but Mississippi State’s may be the best?
TS: I think statistically they are definitely the best. They’re good. They’re really good. But I think we have a good game plan set right now and we’re going to keep building on that. It’s just on us to go out and execute it.
Q: You seemed to find Cheyenne O’Grady more than the others in the LSU game, was there a reason for that?
TS: It was definitely a matchup thing. We felt comfortable with him on some of their safeties and their corners just because he’s a bigger body and runs great routes. So, definitely that was kind of where we went to. It was kind of a game plan thing. So, we did that, but I think we also spread it out, and I think a lot of people were making plays. Definitely a lot of people touching the ball and making plays for us.
Q: How comfortable are you throwing to O’Grady?
TS: Yeah, when a guy does that for you, it definitely goes up. If a guy’s going to go up and fight for the ball like he did, and we have several guys that’ll do that, so it’s really a good feeling back there knowing you have guys that are out there fighting for the ball.
Q: Did Joe Craddock tell you the time he played in Starkville against the Bulldogs and cowbells?
TS: Yeah, he mentioned it. He said, I think they got beat by eight points (9) or something. He was kind of talking about it. I mean, he’s obviously an old quarterback, so he has a lot of experience under his belt. It’s cool to hear some of his old stories
Q: You guys struggled running the ball against LSU. Do you think you can run it against Mississippi State?
TS: We just have to execute. Like I said earlier, it was one cut out of…I know I missed a big cut. It’s just one cut away or one block away, and that’s why it’s such a team game. I mean, it’s just one little thing here or there and it sets the whole thing off. If we can hit that and all 11 guys can do their job, we’ll be alright with the running game.
Q: How much can Devwah Whaley coming back help?
TS: It’s huge. I mean, another playmaker back there. It gives ‘Keem (Boyd), Chase (Hayden), some of those other guys a break and another really talented running back back there. It does nothing but help the offense.
Arkansas and Mississippi State will kickoff at 11 a.m. on Saturday in Davis Wade Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN.