Razorbacks still struggling to win close games

BYU beats Arkansas 38-31

The Arkansas Razorbacks lost a close game to the Texas A&M Aggies 31-27 Saturday afternoon in the Southwest Classic at AT&T Stadium.

The Hogs went back and forth with the Aggies with two lead changes in the second half and the Razorbacks pulling as close as one point until Texas A&M kicker Seth Small nailed a 50-yard field goal with 3:52 to go in the game to push the Aggies’ lead to four.

Arkansas had the game’s leading rusher with running back Rakeem Boyd producing 91 yards on 18 carries. They had the game’s leading receiving with tight end Cheyenne O’Grady catching eight passes for 91 yards. The Razorbacks had the most first downs with 26, the most total yards offense with 395, and even scored a touchdown off a turnover when linebacker De’Jon Harris returned a 6-yard fumble for a score.

Still, the Razorbacks came up on the losing end of the scoreboard.

“There was a lot of challenging going on this week among each other, challenging each other to really, really lock in and focus in and just do what we do,” coach Chad Morris told reporters after the game. “And they did. They did on Tuesday, they did on Wednesday. They did Thursday and Friday. And our meetings were incredible. And we’ve just got to find a way to win.”

The loss represents the sixth one-score loss in the Morris era, a difference of a 10-7 record since he took over compared to a 4-13 mark.

Morris is convinced the close losses are a result of the coaches, the team struggling to comprehend how to win close games.

Said Morris: “That’s really all this is. We have to find a way to win a game like this. And we will. That’s on us as coaches. We’ve got to continue to keep coaching hard and continue to put these young men in situations to be successful. And that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to go back to work.”

The Razorbacks get back to work after an open week on Oct. 12 at Kentucky to play the Wildcats in Lexington.