The Arkansas Razorbacks (2-3, 0-2) will try to win their first SEC game of the Chad Morris era and end a losing skid as the Razorbacks visit Lexington to face Kentucky in a crucial game Saturday after both teams spent a week off thanks to a bye.
Kentucky started the season 2-0 but lost starting quarterback Terry Wilson in the third quarter after a horse-collar tackle from Eastern Michigan defensive lineman Turan Rush. Wilson suffered a torn patellar tendon in his left knee. Wilson was 33-52 for 360 yards and 2 touchdowns through two games and had not thrown an interception. He completed 63 percent of his passes while backup QB and graduate transfer Sawyer Smith from Troy has struggled mightily in place of Wilson.
Kentucky is 0-3 since Wilson's injury, including a close loss to No. 7 Florida and double-digit losses to South Carolina and Mississippi State. Smith is 54-117 for 665 and 4 touchdowns. He has thrown 5 interceptions and has completed just over 46% of his passes.
Arkansas Junior quarterback Nick Starkel has completed 81-131 passes, which is good for 62% of his passes. He has 1,019 yards with 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
Freshman wide receiver Trey Knox was dealing with a minor hip injury, but Coach Chad Morris expects him to be back for the game against the Wildcats, he said.
“We got people back healthy and should be at full capacity in our wide receiver room for the first time in quite some time, which is good to see,” Morris said. “We had very few guys in yellow jerseys yesterday to practice as well as a few in green but transition to a normal jersey sometime this week.”
The bye week was useful for the Razorbacks as it gave a chance for the team to get healthy and the same can be said for the Wildcats. Both teams are in need of a conference win.
Arkansas is 3-4 against Kentucky in the two schools’ histories. The Razorbacks beat the Wildcats the last time the two teams met back in 2012 by a score of 49-7. John L. Smith was coaching that Razorback team to a win over Joker Phillips’ Wildcats, but Phillips was fired before the season was over and eventually hired Mark Stoops.
The Razorbacks play the Wildcats at 6:30 p.m. Saturday night at Kroger Field in Lexington. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.