FAYETTEVILLE — Super senior wide receiver Tyson Morris will play his final game in Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Friday and he’s hoping to help lead the Hogs to a win over Missouri.
Morris and the No. 25 Razorbacks are favored to end a losing streak that dates back to 2016. Morris has helped Arkansas to a 7-4 record thus far this season. He’s second on the team with 21 receptions for 305 yards and two touchdowns. Morris had seen the program struggle until Sam Pittman took over as head coach.
“I feel like I helped this program gain some respect and the light that it should be having on it,” Morris said. “Being in the SEC It’s kind of hard being the underdog and every week you come out and every weekend you want guys to respect you. We’ve been lacking that respect for a couple of years and I’m happy that we are looked at as an opponent who’s coming to play hard every weekend.”
Morris talked about how the Hogs have gone from one SEC win in three years to where they are now.
“Those long months where nobody saw us grinding, nobody was out there on the hot days or the cold days when we’re out there practicing, hitting each other, going hard full-speed all day long,” Morris said. “I feel like those dark days helped us become the team who we are today.”
The game on Friday will pit Morris against two former teammates of his at Fayetteville High School. Defensive lineman Akial Byers and wide receiver Barrett Bannister are key members of Missouri’s squad.
“I mean, it’s always fun being able to go back and play former teammates and things like that – good friends at that,” Morris said. “So, I’m kind of excited about that. I’ve already been talking a little to Akial, a little bit to Barrett on Xbox and stuff. It’s going to be exciting. Those guys are looking forward to it, too.”
Arkansas also has some Missouri ties on the team as well. Barry Odom, Sam Carter and Michael Scherer are coaches who came from there. Two defensive linemen, Tre Williams and Markell Utsey, were at Missouri last season. Do all these ties on both teams add something to this game?
“I’d say yes, just to a certain extent just because it’s a trophy game, and you always want to get the upper hand on your friends when you’re going versus each other,” Morris said. “I’d say just because of that. But it’s just another SEC game. We’re coming out with that same standard we do every other week. But it definitely means a little more to Coach Pittman, and I want to get the win for him and get the win for myself on Senior Night.”
Two year’s ago Missouri topped Arkansas in Little Rock. This year’s game is in Fayetteville which makes Morris happy since they were on the road the past two weekends at LSU and Alabama.
“I think it means a lot,” Morris said. “It’s a shorter week for us and we played last Saturday and we’re going to play here this Friday so we haven’t really had much off time. I think Coach Pittman is doing a great job of preparing us this week and keeping us healthy and things like that. I think playing a home game is going to mean that much more to me because I’m a senior. I’m getting ready to leave. It will be my last game here, and the crowd, the crowd definitely affects the other team and it affects us. So I feel like having that home field advantage will be a plus.”
Pittman has also taken some off the team this week practicing in spiders after the very physical last few games.
“I feel like it shows how much he cares about us, knowing that we just had a very physical game and we’re getting ready to play another physical game,” Morris said. “It shows he cares about us, he cares about how we feel and stuff like that. It shows a lot about Coach Pittman’s character.”
Arkansas and Missouri will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. on Friday and televised on CBS.