LITTLE ROCK — The depth chart for the Arkansas vs Western Carolina season opener featured four starting positions that were not yet settled entering the week.
With the noon CT kickoff now moments away, those battles have seemingly been settled. Based on how they lined up in pregame warmups, here’s how it looks:
- Left tackle: Andrew Chamblee took reps with the first-team offense during warmups, so it seems like he’ll get the nod over Devon Manuel.
- Slot receiver: The Razorbacks initially lined up in 12-personnel with two tight ends, but when they went back to a three-receiver look, Jaedon Wilson was the first guy out instead of Isaiah Sategna.
- Linebacker: In a surprising move, Jaheim Thomas seems to have moved ahead of Chris Paul Jr. at linebacker alongside Jordan Crook.
- Safety: As expected, Jayden Johnson is getting the start at safety ahead of Hudson Clark.
Other Pregame Tidbits
It’s worth noting that the Razorbacks appear to be without one key starter, as Brady Latham did not go through pregame warmups with the team. He has missed about a week and a half with an undisclosed injury.
In his place, Josh Braun has flipped from right guard to left guard and Ty’Kieast Crawford will start at right guard.
The Razorbacks are also down a couple of defensive backs, as safety Malik Chavis and cornerback Kee’yon Stewart did not make the trip.
Chavis has been dealing with what Sam Pittman described as a hand/finger injury, while Stewart was arrested on speeding and reckless driving charges Friday morning. Both of them were listed as backups on the depth chart.
There has been a number change, as well: Freshman cornerback Jaylon Braxton, who had been in No. 16, is now wearing No. 11. That forced LaDarrius Bishop to change from No. 11 to No. 24, the number he originally wore for the Razorbacks.
Quincey McAdoo made the trip with the team, but he is not dressed out. He is still recovering from injuries sustained in a serious car accident in May.
Follow along below for live updates, stats and highlights from the Arkansas vs Western Carolina matchup…
LIVE UPDATES – Arkansas vs Western Carolina
Arkansas won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. That means Western Carolina will receive the opening kickoff.
13:03, 1Q – Arkansas 7, Western Carolina 0
After forcing a three-and-out, it took Arkansas just two plays to get in the end zone. Luke Hasz caught a first down pass on the opening play and then Jaedon Wilson took a screen 65 yards to the end zone. Isaac TeSlaa made the block that sprung it.
8:40, 1Q – Arkansas 14, Western Carolina 0
After the defense forced another three-and-out, Arkansas put together a nice drive that included a third-and-13 conversion. Rocket Sanders capped it with a 3-yard touchdown run. KJ Jefferson is now 5 of 5 passing with completions to five different players.
3:03, 1Q – Arkansas 21, Western Carolina 0
The Razorbacks failed to score on their third possession, but got the ball back in great field position because of a Hudson Clark interception. On the very next play, Jefferson hit Isaac TeSlaa for a 31-yard touchdown.
0:15, 1Q – Arkansas 21, Western Carolina 3
A late hit penalty on Jordan Crook moved the chains for Western Carolina for the first time. Later in the possession, Arkansas gave up a 21-yard pass. The defense eventually held the Catamounts to a 34-yard field goal.
END of 1Q – Arkansas 21, Western Carolina 3
2:56, 2Q – Arkansas 28, Western Carolina 3
It was mostly an ugly quarter for the Razorbacks, but Dwight McGlothern provided a spark by coming down with an interception to give them some good field position. They made the most of it by getting the run game going with Rashod Dubinion. The drive actually ended with a 17-yard touchdown run up the middle by Jefferson.
HALF – Arkansas 35, Western Carolina 3
Arkansas quickly got the ball back when Jayden Johnson forced a fumble on Western Carolina’s first play and TJ Metcalf fell on it. The Razorbacks then scored on fourth-and-goal from less than a yard out as time expired in the first half.
10:59, 3Q – Arkansas 35, Western Carolina 10
The Razorbacks went backwards in a three-and-out to open the half and Western Carolina went right down the field for its first touchdown of the day. The big play was a 40-yard pass from Cole Gonzalez to Censere Lee with Jaheim Singletary in tight coverage. On the next play, Desmond Reid scored from 2 yards out.
6:13, 3Q – Arkansas 42, Western Carolina 10
Arkansas responded with a 9-play, 69-yard drive of its own. It ended with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Jefferson to Andrew Armstrong. Jefferson’s three touchdown passes today have been to three different players.
END of 3Q – Arkansas 42, Western Carolina 10
Jayden Johnson came down with an interception to get the ball back for Arkansas, which has moved the chains once already as the game enters the fourth quarter.
7:55, 4Q – Arkansas 49, Western Carolina 10
Jacolby Criswell’s first drive with the Razorbacks covered 48 yards in seven plays. He capped it with a 14-yard touchdown pass to freshman Davion Dozier.
4:19, 4Q – Arkansas 56, Western Carolina 10
The Catamounts were driving, but freshman Brad Spence picked off a pass and returned it 85 yards for a touchdown.
FINAL – Arkansas 56, Western Carolina 13
Western Carolina tacked on a field goal as time expired.
How to Watch Arkansas vs Western Carolina
Date: Saturday, Sept. 2
Location: War Memorial Stadium (Little Rock, Ark.)
Kickoff Time and TV Schedule: Noon CT (SECN+/ESPN+)
- NOTE: Saturday’s game is available on both ESPN-Plus, which is ESPN’s subscription service, as well as SEC Network-Plus, which is available to everyone with a cable package that includes the SEC Network.
Announcers: Eric Frede (play-by-play), Jordan Reid (analyst)
Western Carolina’s Rankings: N/A
Arkansas’ Rankings: RV (AP) | RV (Coaches) | No. 28 (FPI)
ESPN FPI: Arkansas has a 99.0% chance to win
SP+ Projection: Arkansas has a 98% chance to win, favored by 36.2 (proj. score: 48-12)
Odds/Betting Line: Arkansas, -34.5 | O/U 62.5 (BetSaracen)
More coverage of Arkansas football and Arkansas vs Western Carolina from BoAS…