HOGS hog SEC honors; notes
FAYETTEVILLE - For their part in the defensive gem polished by Arkansas securing seven turnovers in Arkansas’ 33-21 victory over explosive Ole Miss, senior linebacker Grant Morgan and redshirt freshman cornerback Hudson Clark were honored Monday by the SEC Office in Birmingham, Ala.
The SEC named Morgan as co-Defensive Player of the Week and Clark as SEC Freshman of the Week. They helped pick apart an Ole Miss offense that totaled 125 points over its previous three games, including 48 points with 647 yards total offense against 4-0 SEC West leader Alabama.
The league named Morgan, the fifth-year senior from Greenwood, as co-Defensive Player of the Week for making a game-leading, career-high 19 tackles, including three for losses with two on Arkansas’ first of two goal-line stands.
With Arkansas leading 26-21, Morgan sealed the deal. He picked off the fifth of six interceptions from Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral and returned it for a 23-yard touchdown to set the final score, 33-21.
Redshirt freshman safety Jalen Catalon recorded Arkansas’ first of two pick-sixes against Ole Miss with his 35-yard second-quarter TD return. Catalon (nine tackles) also recovered Corral’s fourth-down fumble on Arkansas’ first-quarter goal-line stand.
Catalon could have been a candidate for either award but for Morgan and Clark.
Clark, the redshirt freshman walk-on from Dallas Highlands zooming from obscurity to starter upon injuries to cornerbacks Montaric Brown and Jerry Jacobs after 2019 starter Jarques McClellion opted out for coronavirus concerns, intercepted three Corral passes. Clark became the first UA freshman ever with three interceptions in a game. He also made five tackles and allowed only one completed pass in his area.
Asked postgame about Clark being a Razorback nobody had heard of, Arkansas coach Sam Pittman replied, “Well, they've heard of him now. Three times at least."
Pittman informed the SEC Network on Monday that Clark will be placed on athletic scholarship in January.
The Razorbacks, next playing Oct. 31 at SEC West rival Texas A&M, were scheduled to take Monday off and start bye-week drills Tuesday.
Asked after Saturday’s game about the Razorbacks’ bye-week workout schedule, Pittman cited several recovering Razorbacks who didn’t play against Ole Miss because of injuries, and that many young players, who normally scrimmage extensively during a bye week, have lowered the injury risk because they’ve played a lot on Saturdays already.
“Well we definitely have to get healthy,” Pittman said. “So we won’t do as much hitting as maybe teams in my past have. You’d say we need to develop young kids, well the young kids are being developed right out there in the stadium on Saturday. So I don’t think that’s needed. We have a six-game stretch coming up, and we have to be a healthy football team. We also have to get ready for A&M and have a good plan for that.”
The Razorbacks (2-2) and Coach Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies (3-1) coming off last Saturday’s 28-14 SEC West win at Mississippi State, play at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 31 on the SEC Network at the Aggies’ Kyle Field. A&M also has its bye week this week.