FAYETTEVILLE – The last time Arkansas won a SEC home football game current Razorbacks quarterback Feleipe Franks was on the side as a Florida Gator.
Bret Bielema’s Razorbacks won 31-10 that Nov. 5, 2016 game at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Bielema, Chad Morris, interim coach Barry Lunney Jr. for two games and Sam Pittman for these current 1-2 Razorbacks have coached losing SEC home games since the Hogs flogged Florida back in 2016.
Having snapped a 20-game SEC skid winning two weeks ago at Mississippi State, they get a chance to snap the skein in Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. SEC Network televised SEC West game against the Ole Miss Rebels, 1-2, at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
“I made that trip,” Franks recalled. “I remember like it was yesterday actually coming in here and playing.”
Franks became Florida starting quarterback in 2017 and 2018 and the first three games of 2019 until a broken ankle ended his Florida career and established Kyle Trask as the Gators quarterbacked and caused Franks to come to Arkansas.
Winning in Fayetteville is the next streak to break for Pittman’s Hogs.
Pittman, offensive coordinator Kendal Briles and defensive coordinator Barry Odom have all stressed winning at home.
“Coach Briles says it every week defend your house,” Arkansas junior right offensive tackle Dalton Wagner said. “No matter who rolls in there, we expect to defend our field. Winning at home is always a big thing because, like, it’s home, you know? You have your fans there, you’re in a positive environment instead of a negative environment being on the road. It means a lot to be able to play in there.”
Wagner said against the explosive Rebels scoring 125 points in three games, the Hogs offensively can ill afford their sluggish down 17-0 start before roaring back to lead the Auburn Tigers, 28-27 last Saturday only to lose, 30-28 in a controversial finish aided by an official’s call allowing an apparent Auburn lateral recovered by Arkansas to be ruled an incomplete pass.
“We shoot ourselves in the foot sometimes, but this offense has cleaned up itself every week,” Wagner said. “Coach Briles does an excellent job with his play-calling and making sure, especially during the week, that everybody is in the right spots and that we clean up our errors. He really does a good job hammering home – and all the position coaches, too – and making sure everybody is in the right frame of mind and just ready for the week.”
Wagner came off the bench against Auburn with starting right tackle Noah Gatlin injured on the game’s first series.
Arkansas senior Ty Clary, last year’s starting center set back this season by illness and injury, also came off the bench at Auburn to play at left guard.
“It felt great to be back in there,” Wagner said. “It felt good to help out the team in any way we could. Me and Ty were happy to get a shot, assist the team. When your number is called, your number is called. You get up in there and you do your job, and that’s what we did, and we moved the ball. We were happy to do that.”