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Steve’s Summer Size-Up: No. 10, Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas

Opponent No. 10: Arkansas Razorbacks, November 7

  • SEC West Member (7-6; 2-6 in 2014. Def. Ole Miss 30-0)
  • Difficulty Ranking: fourth
  • Head Coach: Bret Bielema (10-15, third season)
  • Colors: Cardinal & White
  • Enrollment: 26,301 (2014)
  • Razorback Stadium capacity: 72,000

 

Forecast: Arkansas got their act together late last season shutting out LSU and Ole Miss by a combined 47-0 and then thumping Texas in the Texas Bowl 31-7. Expect the Hogs to get even better this year and if they can survive a nightmarish October (Oct. 3 at Tennessee, Oct. 10 at Alabama and Oct. 24 Auburn) watch out! Nine offensive starters return including third-year starter at quarterback Brandon Allen. Star running backs Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins both rushed for 1,100 yards a year ago and are back to challenge SEC defenses once more. A defense that ranked 10th nationally in yards allowed per game in 2014 will have six new starters. However, the defensive secondary is well above average. The kicking game will also have to be rebuilt. The huge offensive line will provide adequate blocking and hole openers for the running game.

Conclusion: This game does not set up well for the Rebels coming off the road trip to Auburn as Arkansas is hosting UT Martin. This late in the season makes predicting in August only guesswork, however, forecasting an extremely physical game is almost a certainty. Arkansas will continue to emphasize the ground attack until enemy defenses figure out how to stop it. This could be the Rebs’ Waterloo matchup similar to 2014. The good news is that the week following is an open date giving the Rebs two weeks to prepare for rivals LSU and State.

Our score prediction: Ole Miss 17 Arkansas 21 (Ole Miss 9-1; 5-1; fifth nationally)

Next Week: Open Date (Nov. 21 LSU)


Previous Weeks


Steve Vassallo

Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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