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September 19, 2018
NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Chad Morris and quarterback Cole Kelley (15) watch a play review for a Kelley touchdown ruled incomplete during the third quarter of a football game, Saturday, September 8, 2018 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/CHARLIE KAIJO Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Chad Morris and quarterback Cole Kelley (15) watch a play review for a Kelley touchdown ruled incomplete during the third quarter of a football game, Saturday, September 8, 2018 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.

Another low at a mile high

By Tom Murphy
This article was published September 10, 2018 at 4:00 a.m.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Colorado State scored the final 25 points of the game to pull off its 34-27 comeback victory over the University of Arkansas on Saturday.

The comeback started after the Razorbacks, who were leading 27-9, failed to score following Deon Stewart's 45-yard punt return took the ball to the Rams' 28-yard line with 6:49 remaining in the third quarter. The series concluded when Connor Limpert missed wide right on a 48-yard field goal attempt at the 5:27 mark.

From that point, Colorado State outgained the Razorbacks 285-34 in total offense and put together three touchdown drives and one field goal drive.

"We definitely had the upper hand and did not feel like that they were moving the ball effectively and efficient," Arkansas coach Chad Morris said of the game flow just before that sequence late in the third quarter.

"It just seemed like the missed field goal and our inability to capitalize off the punt [return], they went on drives of 70, 96, 60, 59 on their last four drives and we were unable to answer offensively. Very disappointing. We take great pride in being an explosive offense and just didn't have it going."

Junior tailback Devwah Whaley, said the shift in momentum was noticeable.

"There was definitely a change of momentum," Whaley said. "We had it going after Deon's punt return, which was a great punt return."

Fourth and one

The first question asked of Morris in his postgame talk was about the decision to punt on fourth-and-one from the 50-yard line on the opening play of the fourth quarter with the Razorbacks leading 27-17.

Cole Kelley had just completed a six-yard out route to La'Michael Pettway on third and 7, but Pettway was ruled to have gone out of bounds inches short of moving the chains.

Morris and his coaches had a lengthy review of the gain, followed by the quarter break to contemplate their fourth-down decision. He said, in retrospect, he almost wished he had decided to go on fourth down at midfield.

"One thing I didn't want to do, because they were creating some momentum, I didn't want to give them a shorter field and allow that momentum to stay with them," Morris said.

"I thought we could pin them deep. That was the message there. We did think about it, did talk about it. I thought at the end, the way our defense was playing at that time we could pin them deep."

CBS analyst Aaron Taylor, a former NFL lineman, remarked on the broadcast that if he was an Arkansas offensive lineman he would be offended by punting on fourth and 1.

Credit to OL

Junior tailback Devwah Whaley gave credit all around after his career-high 165 rushing yards, which included 6.3 yards per carry and a 3-yard touchdown run with 2:02 left in the first quarter.

"It starts up front," Whaley said. "The offensive line worked their tails off, especially this past week. All credit to them and the receivers blocking down field and the quarterback making good reads. ... Without them, I wouldn't have had the game I had."

After Whaley's career day, Rakeem Boyd piled up 67 yards on seven carries for an average of 9.6 yards per carry, and Chase Hayden had 11 carries for 55 yards.

"All of our running backs honestly did a tremendous job," quarterback Cole Kelley said. "Credit to our offensive line. I felt like they did a phenomenal job in the run and passing game and our backs made the right cuts."

QBs Part 2

For the second consecutive game, the Razorbacks' backup quarterback outperformed the starter, though Cole Kelley and Ty Storey swapped roles this week and there was only one change.

Storey made the start in the 34-27 loss at Colorado State and completed 5 of 13 passes for 36 yards and two interceptions. Both of the picks against him led to field goals for the Rams after they took possession inside Arkansas territory at the 43- and 44-yard lines. Storey led seven series that resulted in 49 snaps and 253 yards total offense.

The Razorbacks had one touchdown, two field goals, two punts and two turnovers on Storey's seven possessions.

Kelley took over to start the second half and led seven series that resulted in 27 plays and 184 yards total offense. Kelley completed 6 of 9 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He was sacked once.

T.J.'s edge

Running back T.J. Hammonds scored his first touchdown of the season on a 64-yard pass play, which began with him lined up on the right side. Hammonds went in motion in front of quarterback Cole Kelley, who took a Shotgun snap and pitched the ball forward. Hammonds made the catch and quickly accelerated around left end.

"Devwah [Whaley] made a huge block for me on the outside and Mike Woods made a huge block," Hammonds said. "I saw the safety come down and just hit it.

"I'm fast enough to hit it on the outside. I stumbled a little bit and I caught my balance and I just kept pushing."

Agim's edge

Junior McTelvin "Sosa" Agim played mostly at defensive end against Colorado State as the Razorbacks were without starting end Randy Ramsey and key backup Dorian Gerald.

Agim said he lined up inside on three-man rush formations, but otherwise worked from the edge. Agim was credited with 2 forced fumbles, 2 quarterback hurries, a fumble recovery and a 7-yard tackle for loss among his four stops.

"It was pretty nice," Agim said. "I just want to be able to show that I'm versatile and can play either one."

Pass problems

One week after ripping Eastern Illinois for 353 yards through the air, the Razorbacks struggled to find consistency in their passing game while throwing for 138 yards in the loss at Colorado State.

The Razorbacks' longest pass play was T.J. Hammonds' 64-yard burst around left end with a pop pass that is similar to a running play.

Cole Kelley completed a 25-yard fade-route touchdown to La'Michael Pettway to give Arkansas a 20-9 lead early in the third quarter, but the downfield passing game did not click otherwise.

Jordan Jones hauled in a deep-ball pass from the Colorado State 28-yard line, but he was deemed to have landed with his right foot out of bounds as his left toe tapped inbound on the would-be touchdown.

Personnel report

Morris said he was hopeful linebacker Dre Greenlaw and defensive end Randy Ramsey would be ready to play against North Texas on Saturday. Ramsey has been nursing a hamstring and/or knee injury since the second week of camp. Greenlaw suffered a high ankle sprain in the opener and looked gimpy in the middle part of last week, but he was moving around better during pregame warmups in Fort Collins, Colo.

Morris said Cheyenne O'Grady was suspended for the second game but he did not elaborate on the latest developments with the junior tight end after he said O'Grady was cleared Monday.

Sports on 09/10/2018
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