Tusk to Tail: A growing preference for a quarterback with a surname not ending in ‘Y’
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You know it’s not going well when a growing number of Razorback football fans now consider the 2018 season as an opportunity to prep the quarterback(s) for the 2019 season. Like that other fella often asks, when’s that medical marijuana gonna be available?
Cole Kelley and Ty Storey started at quarterback for Arkansas in Weeks One and Two, respectively. Who do you think finishes the season as starting QB?
Greg Houser: It looks like Coach Chad Morris will let these 2 QBs play it out until one of them pulls away. I’ll go with Cole Kelley. Kelley may be unpolished and not as quick on the reads, but his height is a distinct advantage. Not to mention, he weighs as much as an NFL tight end. With an offensive line that’s not proven in the SEC, we may need Cole to fall forward for 3 yards.
Mac Garland: I don’t fault either Ty Storey or Cole Kelley, who were recruited by the previous coach. They’ve both played well at times. The change in offensive philosophy is big. One line of thinking held that as it took the offensive line time to coalesce, perhaps it would be better to have Kelley in there because he has the size to absorb some hits. Fans want (maybe need) hope for the future, and if neither Kelley or Storey are the starter next year, then people would rather see Conner Noland start learning on the job, believing he is the future. Again, nothing against either Storey or Kelley, but I believe Noland will be playing significantly, if not starting, by year’s end.
Todd Rudisill: Connor Noland. No question.
• North Texas @ Arkansas
Sean Casey: North Texas enters Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium with a potent passing attack. I expect the Mean Green offense to have some success against a weak Razorback secondary. We cannot take anything for granted this season including a win against North Texas. Relying on a strong running game, the Hogs narrowly avoid a loss and win 35-31.
Willard Grandview: Do you realize North Texas doesn’t have a mascot? They’re not Tigers or Lions or Bears or Chargers. They’re the Mean Green. A color! How in the name of Nathan Dick can the Arkansas Razorbacks lose to a color? We can’t, right? Well, maybe. As of this writer’s deadline, Head Coach Chad Morris is declining to name his starting quarterback for Saturday. It’s Week 3. He’s been here since December. And we STILL don’t have a quarterback. Imma give you a chance to turn this program around, Chad. You’ve got a long leash with me. But for now, I’ve got to be honest and admit we are nowhere near ready to compete. North Texas 35, Arkansas 21.
Todd Rudisill: I do believe Morris will do great, but it will take time. At least start with holding a double-digit lead. Morris needs a QB who can run his offense, and neither Kelley or Storey can do that. Connor Noland can. It’s time to get ready for the future. The North Texas QB has thrown for 882 yards and 7 TD’s in 2 games. They are better than Colorado State. I want to pick North Texas but my Mac keeps auto correcting back to Arkansas 31-27.
David Rice: The state of Colorado, site of our last game, legally sells recreational marijuana. A reported side effect of marijuana use is loss of short-term memory. Hogs by 90.
• #22 USC @ Texas
Willard Grandview: I’ll never forget watching Vince Young score the National Championship winning touchdown against Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and USC in 2006. A classic moment in a classic college football matchup. Neither of these schools is even close to that level of football these days, with Texas in particular rivaling our own Razorbacks as a seemingly snake-bit program. I’ve said from the beginning of the year that the Longhorns would have trouble replacing lineman Poona Ford who’s off to the NFL, (Actually I’ve never said that. I just wanted to include the name Poona in the write up.), and indeed they’ve only logged one sack this season. Still, I think they find a way. Horns 18, Trojans 17
• #17 Boise State @ #24 Oklahoma State
David Rice: This should be a track meet. In just two games, these two teams have combined for 231 total points. Boise State is a strong enough Group of Five contender to earn playoff consideration, but they have to prove it here on the road. I think the Broncos escape with a win in a thriller, 56-53.
• #12 LSU @ #7 Auburn
Sean Casey: This should be a fun game to watch. Both teams have early wins against good teams. LSU has a very physical defensive line with a pass rush that will challenge Malzahn’s spread offense. That said, LSU’s new QB Joe Burrow hasn’t been as good as advertised in the first couple games, and he’ll face a very strong Auburn defense. Ultimately, I think the home team pulls out a nail biter in a defensive struggle. Aubie wins 17 to 14.
Todd Rudisill: LSU is over-rated. They are always over-rated. The Tigers’ same issue year in and year out is the QB. This year is no different with Joe Burrow. How the Tigers can’t get a legit QB to come to Baton Rouge continues to be one of life’s greatest mysteries. Auburn has Jarrett Stidham, who actually is a great quarterback. Tigers of the Plains beat the Bayou Bengals 28-17.
• #4 Ohio State @ #15 TCU
Greg Houser: Buckeyes roll over TCU. With the golden ticket in hand, Urban Meyer will watch his program win easy over a rebuilding Texas Christian.
• #1 Alabama @ Ole Miss
Todd Rudisill: Tua Tagovailoa is legit, averaging 13 yards per pass. A Petrino offense couldn’t do anything against these guys, so don’t expect Ole Miss to be able to. Bama could realistically average 50-plus points a game with this offense. That’s unheard of in the SEC, but it could happen. Tua throws for over 300 yards, and Bama rolls the Landsharks 56-17.
Joseph Green: With the game at home, you would expect Ole Miss to score some points. They have 3 great receivers and a quarterback who can get them the ball. However, it is just a typical reload type of year for Alabama where they don’t miss a beat. Take the over, but don’t bet against Bama.
Mac Garland: Hahahah … Oh. You’re serious. The Crimson Tide are favored by 21 points on the road. They’ll cover that with no problem. Maybe the Rebels/Black Bears/Land Sharks were looking ahead last week, and that explains their 1st half against Southern Illinois – says a Razorback fan who watched his team give up a 18 point lead in the 2nd half. Barring an injury to #13, it’s hard to imagine Alabama not running almost every other team off the road and into the dirt. Bama 49-28.
Editor’s note: Welcome to the seventh season of Tusk to Tail – the sport of tailgating as organized, performed and perfected by a group of Hog fans who have been tailgating together sober and otherwise for more than a decade. Tusk to Tail is managed by Talk Business & Politics and sponsored by the River Valley Smile Center … because it’s another dang rebuilding year and you’re gonna need a good smile to get through the season. The diehards may also be followed on their Facebook page. Or follow the crew on Twitter — @TuskToTail