Arkansas coach says team can still reach bowl
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas coach John L. Smith said Monday that his Razorbacks can still reach a bowl game despite a 1-3 start and most of their Southeastern Conference schedule still ahead.
Speaking to reporters ahead of an appearance at the Little Rock Touchdown Club, the interim coach twice raised his hands and crossed his fingers while saying that once his team demonstrates confidence and consistency -- with a victory -- he expects it to reach a postseason game.
"We need to get a win to get that confidence back," said Smith, whose team had been expected to challenge for SEC or national championships.
Arkansas' next five games are against unranked teams. The Razorbacks close at No. 6 South Carolina, at No. 21 Mississippi State and at home with No. 3 LSU. The Razorbacks must win five of its remaining eight games to become bowl-eligible.
The team opened with a victory over Jacksonville State but after quarterback Tyler Wilson suffered a head injury against Louisiana-Monroe, the Razorbacks lost in overtime to the Warhawks and then 52-0 to top-ranked Alabama. Wilson returned for Arkansas' game against Rutgers -- a week after complaining to reporters that perhaps some of his teammates weren't giving their all -- and the Razorbacks lost 35-26.
"Now Tyler's back, hopefully we can start building that consistency and with consistency will come confidence. With a win, it will definitely help confidence," Smith said.
Arkansas plays at Texas A&M on Saturday, then plays Auburn, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Tulsa.
The Razorbacks finished last season ranked No. 5, losing only to national champion Alabama and runner-up LSU.