Effort was a topic at several points as Arkansas football coach Chad Morris previewed the Kentucky game on his weekly radio show Wednesday night.
While the radio host and fans in attendance at The Catfish Hole restaurant mentioned improved effort in the loss to Texas A&M, Morris said it wasn’t just effort that is the focus for the Razorbacks as they approach the game at Kentucky on Saturday night.
“We have a great opportunity to build on the way we played against Texas A&M, but we have to clean up some mistakes,” Morris said. “And we have to keep pushing this program forward.”
Morris said the performance in the 31-27 loss to Texas A&M was “as good as we’ve had since I’ve been here. But we still made mistakes we have to clean up.”
As far as the effort, Morris said, “We’ve challenged the team that they’ve proven they can play (hard) against a top level SEC team, a top 25 team. We’ve set the bar. Now nothing less than that is acceptable.”
Again, Morris said, “We still have things to clean up.” That’s probably in reference to five penalties in the fourth quarter when the Hogs moved the ball, but only scored one field goal.
Morris said the team seemed “ready to play” as they hit the field on Wednesday. The Hogs had an open date, as did Kentucky.
“We are to the point today that we are ready to play,” he said. “We’ve practiced enough and watched enough Kentucky film.”
Wide receiver Tyson Morris said the Hogs will try to start fast against Kentucky.
“You always want to put your best foot forward,” Tyson Morris said. “So we want to swing first. As far as this game, the way we prepare is the same every week.”
Cornerback Jarques McClellion said, “My mind is focused on winning. I’ll come in with my mouth piece in and I know they better have their mouth piece in because I’m going to be trying to knock their teeth out.”
Tyson Morris was asked to recap the August day when he learned he was going to be placed on scholarship. He said he spent the early part of the day at the financial aid office trying to come up with the last $1,500 to pay his fall bill.
“I got a text to come by coach (Justin) Stepp’s office,” he said. "So when I got there, it was Coach Morris, Coach Stepp and Coach (Joe) Craddock. I can’t put into words to describe how I felt.
Earlier, Tyson Morris said, “It was crazy because I had been having trouble trying to find that last $1,500. It was a struggle.”
Chad Morris said the events made him cry.
“I don’t think it set in with Tyson for about 30 minutes,” Chad Morris said. “Those are some of the moments a coach will never forget.”