Arkansas coach Bret Bielema previews matchup with Ole Miss
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas is coming off a 52-20 loss to Auburn in Week 8. The Razorbacks have now lost their past seven contests against Power 5 opponents.
This week, the Hogs will face Ole Miss at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss. The game will kickoff at 11 a.m. CT and be broadcast on the SEC Network.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema addressed the media ahead of the game Monday. Here’s the rundown of what he had to say:
- Freshman running back Chase Hayden has a “lower leg fracture” and will have 4-6 weeks to recover. He may be able to return of the team makes a bowl game.
- Senior center Frank Rangow is also out of the rest of the season with a high ankle sprain. He is expected to have surgery in early November. Bielema believes he will be fully recovered in time for the NFL Combine.
- Senior quarterback Austin Allen is getting closer to a return, but it’s currently expected redshirt freshman Cole Kelley will make his third consecutive start this week.
- Bielema began to get emotional discussing Ragnow’s injury. He says Ragnow was most devastated by not being about to help this current team climb out of the 2-5 hole and potentially help save Bielema’s job. “Frank was kind of the glue guy for us. … He just holds a special place in people’s hearts.”
- More from Bielema on Ragnow: “Yesterday was a very, very tough day. A tough conversation. The finality I think of his college career I think was big, but not being able to help in a situation right now, I could tell by the look in his eye, the things he said, not being able to help us, being able to help me. I think that’s probably his biggest thing. His career, of all the dreams he had this year. He’s playing at such a high level. He won’t get the national awards. I know he was thinking about the Rimington and different things. Frank’s not wired that way, but that was a by-product of him playing extremely well. Because he’s going to be cut short with so many games left in the season, he won’t be able to attain those. But I’m as serious as I can be. I’ve never seen a player play as dominant as he’s been through seven games the way he has. He’s just playing at a high, high level.”
- Sophomore running back T.J. Hammonds will move back to running back for Arkansas with Hayden out. Hammonds played running back as a freshman before switching to wide receiver last spring. “Talking to him this morning, he’s very excited about that opportunity,” Bielema said.
- Bielema has been pleased with kicker Connor Limpert. “There are a lot of positives to his kicking game.” Limpert made two field goals and kicked two touchbacks into the wind against Auburn.
- Bielema says the offense will continue to go up-tempo, particularly with Kelley at quarterback. He says Kelley is most comfortable in that situation.
- Asked about how he feels about the offensive line, Bielema responds: “What do you think?”