Arkansas had four different wide receivers catch a football against Ole Miss as well three who carried the football in the game on reverses in the 38-37 victory.
Michael Smith coaches the wide receivers and was pleased with their production against the Rebels as well as the team getting the win to snap a three-game skid.
"Yeah it was definitely a good feeling in that locker room and on the way back from the game," Smith said. "We’re on to Coastal Carolina. We’re just trying to encourage the guys to continue to keep keeping on because wins do make it a lot better around here. It was a great win Saturday and like I said, we’re on to Coastal Carolina now."
Jonathan Nance is Arkansas' leading receiver this season with 31 receptions for 436 yards and five touchdowns. But Nance had been fairly silent in the past two games. Against Ole Miss, Nance caught four passes for 34 yards and rushed twice for 45 more yards. Deon Stewart also caught four passes against the Rebels for 49 yards including a 23-yard touchdown from Cole Kelley. Smith was glad to see Nance get back to a strong contributor again.
"Jonathan played well Saturday," Smith said. "He and Deon played extremely well. Deon played very, very well, but I was glad to see Jonathan get back out there. He’s always kind of busting my chops about, ‘Coach, let me run one of those dashes.’ To give him the opportunity, the first play of the second half and see him breakaway and have that opportunity to run the ball was good and it kind of got him going in the pass game. We just gave him a hard time for getting caught.
He going to be in your ear more about getting carries?
"Oh yeah," Smith said smiling. "Shoot, everybody is in my ear now. It’s, ‘Coach, when am I going to get my opportunity? But no, he did a great job Saturday."
Sophomore JUCO transfer Brandon Martin came into the season highly touted, but battled injuries early on. He worked his way into the rotation beginning with the South Carolina game. He has now caught seven passes for 76 yards. He was a teammate of Nance at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Both enrolled at Arkansas this past January. Smith talked about Martin's progress.
"He did well Saturday, did very well," Smith said. "He just didn’t have anything thrown to him Saturday. I’m just putting guys out there now. The thing that’s been encouraging is that we’ve gotten to a point where I feel comfortable putting guys in the game.
"To be honest with you, when Dan (Enos) calls a play, I’m not looking to see who’s out there because I have confidence in all of them making the play. When his time comes, he has to be ready. It’s just like the opportunity came for him in South Carolina. He made a play for us. That’s what I expect from all of them."
Smith coached T.J. Hammonds all season until he was moved to running back prior to the Ole Miss game. Hammonds responded with 11 carries for 89 yards to lead the team in rushing. Smith was pleased to see Hammonds have success.
"I was happy for T.J.," Smith said. "To get a guy like T.J., to get the opportunities he got and do what he did Saturday was awesome to see. I’m happy for him. Any way he can help us win football games, I’m ecstatic to see him out there doing those things."
Arkansas (3-5, 1-4) will be home in Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Saturday to take on Coastal Carolina at 3 p.m. CT. It will be Arkansas' homecoming game. It will be televised on the SEC Network alternate channel.