Mark Story

First Scouting Report: Can UK give Stoops a breakthrough win against Arkansas?

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Game day: Kentucky at South Carolina

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An early look ahead to the Kentucky Wildcats’ next football game:

The opponent

Kentucky (2-3, 0-3 SEC following a 24-7 loss to South Carolina) has an open date next Saturday (Oct. 5), then will face Arkansas (2-3, 0-2 SEC) on Oct. 12 at Kroger Field. The kickoff time and television broadcast information for the game have yet to be announced.

Coach Chad Morris’ Razorbacks lost to Texas A&M 31-27 on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Like UK, Arkansas also has an open date Oct. 5.

Chad Morris after San Jose loss.JPG
Arkansas Coach Chad Morris left the field following the Razorbacks' 31-24 loss to San Jose State on Sept. 21. Through five games of his second season at Arkansas, Morris is 4-13, 0-10 in the SEC. Michael Woods AP

Most recent meeting

Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson threw for 372 yards and five touchdowns as the host Razorbacks whacked Kentucky 49-7 on Oct. 13, 2012, in a game called with 5:08 left in the third quarter due to severe weather.

Interim coach John L. Smith’s Hogs buried UK from the start, building a 42-7 halftime lead after outgaining coach Joker Phillips’ Cats 444-88 in the first half.

Joker Phillips at Arkansas.JPG
Kentucky Coach Joker Phillips took off his headset during the first half of UK's 49-7 loss at Arkansas in 2012. The Wildcats were outgained 444 to 88 in the first half of that game.

Series history

Kentucky leads the all-time series with Arkansas 4-3. UK is 2-1 vs. the Razorbacks in Lexington. The one Wildcats loss to the Hogs in Lexington was an epic 71-63 defeat in seven overtimes in 2003.

The UK quarterback in that game, Jared Lorenzen, threw for 326 yards and two touchdowns on 28-for-49 passing. Lorenzen also ran for three touchdowns, all in the overtimes.

UK has designated this season’s Arkansas game as “Jared Lorenzen Day,” to honor the former Wildcats QB who died in July at age 38.

Randall Cobb vs Arkansas 2008.JPG
Randall Cobb scored the game-winning touchdown on a pass from Mike Hartline as Kentucky rallied to beat Arkansas 21-20 in 2008. It was UK's first victory over a Bobby Petrino-coached team after four losses (2003-2006) during Petrino's first stint as Louisville coach. Crawford Ifland

Know your foe

1. The Chad Morris coaching era is off to a slow start at Arkansas. Five games into his second season as Razorbacks head coach, Morris — the former Clemson offensive coordinator and SMU head man — is 4-13, 0-10 in SEC games.

2. Since the 2016 season, Arkansas is 1-5 vs. SEC East foes and has lost its last five games vs. teams from the East.

3. Kentucky will be seeking to give Wildcats Coach Mark Stoops his first victory over an SEC West foe other than Mississippi State. Since Stoops became UK coach in 2013, the Wildcats are 2-5 against their permanent SEC West foe, MSU, and 0-6 against the rest of the West.

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Mark Story has worked in the Lexington Herald-Leader sports department since Aug. 27, 1990, and has been a Herald-Leader sports columnist since 2001. I have covered every Kentucky-Louisville football game since 1994, every UK-U of L basketball game but three since 1996-97 and every Kentucky Derby since 1994.
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