Arkansas vs Mississippi State
The month of October means we are in Week two of the very young SEC Football Season. There was one surprise in week one that still has the College Football world in awe. The Mississippi State Bulldogs went to Death Valley and left the Tigers measured, weighted, and wanting. If you didn’t catch that, that’s what William’s crew said to Count Adhemar after he was defeated in the final joust in the movie A Knight’s Tale. LSU fans also had the same bewildered look on their faces that Adhemar had as he laid on the ground, defeated by a foe that he felt was inferior. The Bulldogs have enjoyed increased exposure after their victory over LSU. Week one was not kind to Arkansas as the Razorbacks played hard against a talented Georgia team that played musical chairs at quarterback. Feleipe Franks lost his debut and the Georgia Bulldogs did not allow Rakeem Boyd to get going. Fast forward to week two and the Razorbacks will face another Bulldog team in SEC West foe Mississippi State. This Bulldog team is unlike Bulldog teams of old. Mike Leach prepares for his home debut and he wants fans on the Bulldog Bandwagon. Will the #16 Ranked Bulldogs successfully defend their homefield, or will the Razorbacks shock the world as the Bulldogs did last week? This is the SEC and anyone can beat anyone right?
Why the Razorbacks Will Win
In the loss to Georgia the Razorbacks held the lead early in the third quarter in Sam Pittman’s debut. The Georgia Bulldogs pulled off the comeback and ran away with the game blanking the Razorbacks the rest of the game. The Razorbacks have some offensive talent that can give teams some problems. Franks has to play better in his second start of the season. The engine that runs the Razorback run game is Rakeem Boyd. If Boyd can get going in the run game, Franks will have some passing windows for his receivers. The Razorbacks will come into this game looking to knock the Bulldogs off their newly ranked perch. For that to happen they will have to stop a high powered passing attack and deal with a coach who is not afraid to run defensive backs ragged all game long. Can the Razorback secondary keep up with the Bulldog receivers, we will find out on Saturday.
Why the Bulldogs Will Win
The Bulldogs are riding high after an amazing debut of the Air Raid against LSU. Will the home opener be a repeat of how the Bulldogs pirated the LSU defense last week? Arkansas now has film to review so they won’t be easily fooled. We know Leach will let Costello air it out, but the key will be how the Arkansas defense adjusts its coverages where LSU failed to do so. The passing game will be leaned on heavily this game, but I feel Leach will run the ball more. Leach has a weapon in Kylin Hill who ran for 234 yards and 3 touchdowns last year against Arkansas. The passing game is way, but the Bulldogs will run it more and Kylin Hill will lead the way. The defense will also keep Franks and Boyd in check as the young secondary is able to confuse Franks and the front six will stifle the run.
I do not see Mississippi State losing this game. On the field and on paper they are the more talented squad. Arkansas will have trouble stopping the passing game and when they focus on the pass, Leach will run it with Hill. Arkansas will try to battle but the Bulldogs will start the season 2-0 with a 49-20 victory.