Three big questions as Arkansas prepares for first spring practice

With Arkansas’ first spring football practice set for Thursday, here are three big questions as the Razorbacks look toward the 2024 season. 

Can Bobby Petrino provide a spark for a dormant offense?

The last time Bobby Petrino was in Razorback attire, it was at a rather awkward press conference in April of 2012. Regardless of Petrino’s past at Arkansas, most Razorback fans are focused on the present, and whether he can provide a spark for an Arkansas offense that was largely silent in 2023, averaging just 20 points per game in SEC play.

Petrino’s captivating and flashy offenses in Fayetteville in his tenure as Arkansas have fans dreaming of the past, but unless the unit becomes competent in the present, Petrino could quickly fall out of the fans’ good graces. 

Who is Petrino’s QB1?

Arkansas hasn’t had to have a true QB competition in over a decade, (not counting the Chad Morris debacle, of course) so having two or three Hogs that all have a legitimate shot to be the starting quarterback come August 31st is uncharted territory for Sam Pittman. 

Boise State transfer Taylen Green seems like the favorite to win the job, but don’t count out UNC transfer and former Morrilton High School QB Jacoby Criswell, who saw a fair amount of action for Arkansas in 2023. Young guns in KJ Jackson and Malachi Singleton will also have a chance to become QB1, but most seem to believe it’ll come down to either Green or Criswell. 

Regardless, Arkansas needs a steady hand to guide the offense in 2024, or ghosts of Chad Morris’ 2019 QB “competitions” will start surfacing in Northwest Arkansas. 

Which returning receiver becomes “the guy”?

While a few questions are present on defense, offense is the focus for Arkansas this offseason, and chief among the offensive concerns is the receiving core. 

Two prominent Razorbacks will return from 2023 in Isaac Teslaa and Andrew Armstrong, but Tyrone Broden and Isaiah Sategna are looking for breakout seasons. Andrew Armstrong was the primary receiver for Arkansas in 2023, hauling in 56 passes for 755 yards and five touchdowns, but like his peers, was limited by poor offensive line play and staff changes. 

With a stable staff and an offensive line that hopefully doesn’t leak like a sieve, a primary receiver should emerge for Arkansas’ starting QB to have a connection with. Like the QB competition, it seems to be a competition between two main contestants in Teslaa and Armstrong, but don’t be surprised if Sategna or Broden get some extra reps in spring ball – both receivers had their flashes of brilliance in 2023. 

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