FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The quarterback situation for Arkansas this season has been anything but enjoyable. Having lost six straight games, the Razorbacks will turn to redshirt freshman John Stephen Jones under center Saturday when they host Western Kentucky in non-league play.
TV: Noon ET, SEC Network. LINE: Arkansas -1.5
Jones, the grandson of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the son of Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, is the team's third starting quarterback this season. Nick Starkel and Ben Hicks have started the first nine games (five by Starkel) and now Jones has a chance to earn the full-time job in what is a lost season for the Razorbacks. “I think when you look at his prior performance when he stepped on the field the last two weeks, the moment has not been too big for him,” Arkansas coach Chad Morris said on Monday. “I think he did a great job of providing grit and toughness and I think he’ll play really well.” Western Kentucky played outstanding defense during a four-game winning streak before allowing 61 points in losing the last two games.
ABOUT WESTERN KENTUCKY (5-4)
The Hilltoppers wasted a 14-0 lead in last week’s 35-24 defeat to Florida Atlantic, but this week’s matchup is all about Ty Storey. The graduate transfer and former Arkansas quarterback is now under center for Western Kentucky and insists that he harbors no ill will against the Razorbacks coaches. “So there was never any bad blood. We had a great relationship,” Storey said. “I’m always thankful they threw me out there and let me show what I could do last year. There was no issues between any of us.”
ABOUT ARKANSAS (2-7)
Arkansas tight end Cheyenne O’Grady, the program’s all-time leader in touchdown catches by a tight end (12), has mutually agreed to leave the program after being suspended for last week’s Mississippi State game. “We met last night and we want to wish C.J. the best,” Morris said earlier this week of O’Grady, who leads the team this season in catches (33), receiving yards (372) and touchdown catches (three). Jones was 4-of-9 for 25 yards with a touchdown against the Bulldogs and went 6-of-7 with a score in mop-up time against Alabama late last month.
1. During its four-game winning streak, Western Kentucky allowed a total of 38 points.
2. Arkansas has used multiple quarterbacks in a game five times this season.
3. Rakeem Boyd leads Arkansas with 820 rushing yards and averaged 10.4 yards per attempt against Mississippi State.
PREDICTION: Arkansas 37, Western Kentucky 30