Arkansas travels to Colorado State for the first time ever to take on the Rams for the fourth time in the program’s two histories. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT on CBS Sports Network with Carter Blackburn, Aaron Taylor and John Schriffen calling the action from Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado. Here are 10 things to know leading up to kickoff.
1. The Razorbacks are 3-0 all-time against the Rams with all three games being played in Little Rock. The Hogs won the first-ever game between the two schools 43-9 in 1974 and followed up in 1979 with a 36-3 victory. The last time the two teams played was in 1990 when Arkansas won 31-20. The last game between the Razorbacks and Rams featured legendary Arkansas QB and current Razorback radio analyst Quinn Grovey. In his senior season, Grovey led the Hogs to victory with 167 yards through the air and 29 more on the ground, adding three TD passes and a rushing score in the 31-20 win.
2. Arkansas head coach Chad Morris will be the fourth Head Hog to take on the Rams, joining Frank Broyles (1974), Lou Holtz (1979) and Jack Crowe (1990). Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo will become the third Rams coach to take on the Razorbacks with Sark Arslanian coaching the first two games of the series and Earle Bruce leading the Rams in 1990.
3. Arkansas is 14-1 against current members of the Mountain West Conference. The league officially formed in 1999 with founding members Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, San Diego State, New Mexico, UNLV, Utah and Wyoming. The Razorbacks’ trip to Colorado State, however, will be the first true road game against a Mountain West opponent. The Hogs played UNLV in the Las Vegas Bowl at the end of the 2000 season, the only loss to a Mountain West team. Ironically, Arkansas opened up the 2001 season against the Rebels in Little Rock and avenged the loss.
1974 Colorado State W 43-9
1975 Air Force W 35-0
1975 Utah State W 31-0
1976 Utah State W 33-16
1979 Colorado State W 36-3
1983 New Mexico W 17-0
1987 New Mexico W 43-25
1987 Hawaii W 38-20
1990 Colorado State W 31-20
2000 Boise State W 38-31
2000 UNLV L 31-14
2001 UNLV W 14-10
2002 Boise State W 41-14
2006 Utah State W 20-0
2011 New Mexico W 52-3
4. CB Ryan Pulley returned to the lineup last Saturday after suffering a season-ending pectoral injury in the first game of the 2017 season. Pulley was impressive making three tackles but locking down his side of the field. Eastern Illinois threw at Pulley just one time on Saturday, completing just a four-yard pass. The junior enjoyed his return, playing the most defensive snaps on the roster (74).
5. The Razorbacks rank second in the nation in turnover margin after one week. Arkansas forced five turnovers and did not turn the ball over to bring a +5 margin into Week 2 of the season. Only Fresno State has a better turnover margin than the Razorbacks with a +7 margin thanks to a pair of fumble recoveries and five interceptions against Idaho.
6. Speaking of those turnovers, the Razorbacks’ defense produced one of the best performances ever by a team led by Chad Morris. The team forced six fumbles and recovered five of them to match the most forced turnovers by a Chad Morris team (5, East Carolina 2016).
Other defensive bests under Morris:
357 total yards, tied for seventh-fewest
127 rushing yards, seventh-fewest
8.0 tackles for loss, tied for sixth-most
7. QBs Ty Storey and Cole Kelley were efficient in the opener combining to go 21-for-29 (72.4%) for 353 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. The team’s passing efficiency after one game (220.2) leads the SEC and ranks ninth in the nation. The Colorado State defensive pass efficiency ranks 118th in the FBS after the Rams’ first two opponents (Hawaii and Colorado) have combined to pass for 756 yards on 48-of-62 (77.4%) with seven TDs and one interception.
8. Six Razorbacks earned their first career starts in the season-opener against Eastern Illinois. Two redshirt freshmen offensive linemen drew their first career starts for their first career action and they just happened to be next to each other, Shane Clenin got the nod at left tackle and Kirby Adcock at left guard. On the defensive side, D’Vone McClure, Chevin Calloway, Michael Taylor and Gabe Richardson all received their first starting assignments as Razorbacks.
9. True freshman Bumper Pool jumped right into his first collegiate action against Eastern Illinois last Saturday. The linebacker from Lucas, Texas filled up the stat sheet with six tackles, a blocked PAT and fumble recovery. He recorded two solo stops to go with four assisted tackles and added a pass break-up. The fumble recovery set up an Arkansas score thanks to him returning it 60 yards back to the EIU 5-yard line. The 60-yard fumble return is the longest by a Razorback since a 94-yard return by Jerry Franklin at Vanderbilt in 2011. His blocked PAT made him the first Hog since DeQuinta Jones in 2012 to block a PAT.
10. The Razorbacks protected the rock last week in the opener against Eastern Illinois with no turnovers in the win. Not turning the ball over snapped a 14-game streak with at least one turnover dating back to 2016. The Razorbacks were one of 34 teams in the FBS to not turn the ball over through Week 1, including eight in the SEC.