Junior Carroll Washington will get his first start as a Razorback on Saturday against South Carolina in Razorback Stadium.
Carroll Washington breaks up a pass intended for Javontee Herndon in last spring's Red-White game.
Washington, who was a 4-star recruit from Hartnell (Calif.) Junior College, will replace sophomore Will Hines who is out 4-6 weeks with a broken arm. Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema made the announcement on Thursday.
“The game that Jared (Collins) got hurt (against Southern Miss) exposed Carroll to a lot of reps that week in practice,” Bielema said. “He capitalized on it. He has continued to do so and has done a good job for us on special teams. I'm excited to see him get out there and play. [Jared Collins] and D.J. Dean will also play.”
Arkansas is experiencing a little bit of a roller coaster season. The Razorbacks won their first three games and now have lost the last three. Bielema hopes the team can reverse that trend on Saturday.
“Throughout the course of the week I thought our guys locked into the game plan,” Bielema said. “We had a good Thursday practice.
“I thought Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday have been extremely good and focused. At this time of the year when you go 3-3 and after three losses you worry about their mental state and ability to stay engaged. They have been nothing but positive and upbeat about the opportunity to play on Saturday.”
The game will be homecoming for Arkansas. The Gamecocks are a team the Razorbacks have generally had success against. South Carolina won last year's game 38-20 in Columbia, but Bobby Petrino was 4-0 against them. The last time the Gamecocks won in Fayetteville was 14-10 in 2005.
South Carolina junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney missed last week's Kentucky game, but will start against the Razorbacks on Saturday. That's something Bielema both expected and prepared for this week.
“If he starts then yeah we know where our first play is,” Bielema said.
This will be Bielema's first opportunity to coach against Steve Spurrier. Bielema compared it to a chance he had to coach against another legendary coach when he was at Wisconsin.
“It's kind of one of those things,” Bielema said. “I remember my first year in coaching to walk out on the field and shake hands with (Penn State's) Joe Paterno was one of those things you can't imagine as a child growing up. Being on the same field, much less competing with them.
“We were fortunate enough to win that game and that was one of those moments. Coach Spurrier has been such an icon in our profession for such a long time. I have tremendous respect. I really don't know him all that well, but I have been around him at a couple of events. Just his way and he's very engaging.”
Arkansas and South Carolina will kick off at 11:21 and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.