HOGS vs. Mizzou: last shot for seniors
FAYETTEVILLE - After nearly four full years of quarterbacking the opponent’s offense in practice, Jack Lindsey (holding in Craven Whitlow photo above) last week finally quarterbacked Arkansas against an opponent.
The fourth-year junior and former walk-on did right well. So well he might even start Arkansas’ Friday finale in Little Rock against the Missouri Tigers. Arkansas quarterbacks KJ Jefferson and Nick Starkel continue evaluations coming off concussions.
Arkansas (2-9, 0-7 in the SEC West) and Mizzou (5-6, 2-5 in the SEC East) meet at 1:30 p.m. Friday on CBS at War Memorial Stadium.
After No. 1 and SEC West champion LSU built a 56-6 lead last week and knocked Jefferson and Starkel out of the game, Arkansas interim coach Barry Lunney Jr. turned to Lindsey in the fourth quarter at LSU’ Death Valley.
The game concluded 56-20. Lindsey dashed 30 yards on the first play of his first drive concluded with his 24-yard touchdown pass to receiver Mike Woods. After Arkansas recovered an onside kick then was aided by an LSU pass interference penalty, Lindsey quarterbacked a second touchdown drive consummated by running back Devwah Whaley’s 2-yard TD run.
Great stuff for one who had lettered since 2018 strictly holding for Connor Limpert’s place-kicks while otherwise in practices quarterbacking the scout team until Lunney put him into the varsity rotation during the LSU game week.
It was “a different week,” Lindsey said smiling of working game week with Arkansas’ offense after paying all those scout team dues.
Tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Lunney, the only former Razorback and native Arkansan on the staffs of fired coaches Chad Morris and Bret Bielema, has admired Lindsey’s work ethic and perseverance.
Lindsey said Lunney had quoted him a Bible verse: “I think it was in Galatians, maybe. But it was, 'Don't grow weary of doing the little things, for you will reap your harvest if you do everything to the fullest with your heart.' So, it's kind of been a long time coming.”
An inherited, long time coming.
Lyndy Lindsey, Jack’s father, lettered 1988-91 as a Razorbacks tight end. Jim Lindsey, Jack’s grandfather, lettered for Frank Broyles from 1962-64 and was among the stars on Arkansas’ 1964 national championship team.
And first at Fayetteville High then at Springdale High, Jack was coached by former Razorbacks quarterback Zak Clark, the son of former Razorbacks assistant baseball coach Doug Clark.
So it seems Jack was Razorbacks bred to persevere and accomplish. That’s how Lunney saw it.
“I saw him in high school, known his family, and Zak Clark is a good friend of mine,” Lunney said. “I’m just a little more familiar with him. I know his DNA. I know who he is. I know that when he has gotten opportunities in scrimmages, he’s always kind of been that guy who’s made a play a little bit.”
And always wanted to make that play for Arkansas.
“I wasn’t going anywhere else,” Lindsey said. “Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to come here.”
Not that much of anybody else wanted him, Lindsey said.
Missouri Southern in Joplin was the lone school that contacted him before he walked on at Arkansas.
“My first year, I really didn't belong here,” Lindsey said. “I was a pipsqueak, kind of small (6-2, 160 now 6-2, 204). I was looking around at all these other quarterbacks who were a lot better than me, so I just tried to keep working on my craft, getting bigger and stronger.”
Lindsey credits Morris strength coach Trumain Carroll and Bielema strength coach Ben Herbert for working on his physical development.
Lunney credits Lindsey for studiously learning whatever offense he’s asked to run whether it was Bielema’s, Morris’ or Arkansas’ game-week opponent.
Lindsey credits those around him, like all involved on his TD pass to Woods.
“Great job by the O-line and Mike ran a great route and was wide open,” Lindsey said. “I think Bugs Bunny could have made that pass. That was a great job by Mike Woods, the O-line, everybody.”
Lindsey, true freshman Jefferson (the starter against LSU) and graduate transfer Starkel, a starting quarterback earlier this season, have gotten the game-week practice reps through Wednesday’s closed practice.
Lunney has not publicly announced Friday’s starting QB.
SENIORS’ LAST SHOT
For an Arkansas senior class that has never beaten Missouri and taken the game’s “Battle Line” trophy back to Fayetteville and suffered 18 consecutive SEC defeats, Friday’s game marks atonement’s last chance.
“It would be very big, and just for us in the senior class just us getting this W,” Arkansas senior defensive end Jamario Bell of Junction City said. “It would really mean a lot. I know it would mean a lot to the Arkansas faithful. A lot of people kind of talk bad about us, but we know the real Arkansas fans, we're trying to do it for them.”