Hicks back to bench; Starkel still Hogs’ starter

Arkansas past Kent State

Quarterback Nick Starkel will remain as the Arkansas Razorbacks’ starter after being knocked out of the team’s 31-27 loss to the Texas A&M Aggies Saturday at AT&T Stadium.

On second-and-goal from the 3-yard line down 14-3 with a little under six minutes until halftime, Starkel threw an interception to defensive lineman Justin Madubuike. During the 18-yard return, Starkel threw himself in front of the trench player, was injured, and had to leave the game.

Ben Hicks, who started the first two games for the Razorbacks until Starkel took over in their third game against Colorado State on Sept. 14, relieved Starkel and completed 15-of-27 for 188 yards and a touchdown and was 19 yards away from winning the game.

Is it back to Hicks or a a split-series quarterback situation?

“No, Nick’s our starter,” Arkansas coach Chad Morris told reporters after the game. “He had an arm contusion, the left arm, and lost strength, couldn’t grip the ball. And so we thought that, as the second half came on, would it lead to anything.”

Though ESPN cameras caught Starkel throwing on the sideline after the start of the second half, according to Morris, the coaching staff felt it was best to roll with Hicks.

“I felt that Ben was comfortable and the moment was not too big for him,” said Morris. “And so I thought that was our decision, and he wasn’t able to go back in.”

Arkansas has an open week and then takes to the road to face the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington on Oct. 12.