Fear not, Hog fans, I know we've got a long two weeks left between now and the end of this atrocity of a season, but hang in there. This week our beloved Hogs travel to Stark Vegas to face Mississippi State, formerly ranked number 11. However, they started playing real teams and have been outscored 113-47 in the past three weeks. Yes, the Dawgs at one point were an SEC darkhorse but have since been put in their place by Alabama, Texas A&M, and LSU who told them to shove those cowbells...well, ya know.
Before the losing streak, the Dawgs had won 7 straight, including 3 conference wins. However, those wins came against a less than impressive schedule that included the likes of Jackson State, Troy, South Alabama, Middle Tennessee, and three of the SEC's biggest bottom feeders. Their conference opponents have a combined record of 0-20 in conference play, 2 of which Arkansas has beaten, if that tells you anything. Kentucky, Auburn, and Tennessee...not exactly examples of SEC supremecy.
Then again, neither are we. Mississippi State has won the games they should and lost the ones they should. So, the question is, should they beat Arkansas? They've got home field advantage, so there's a notch in their column. They have a quarterback, as in an actual person to play quarterback, so there's another advantage, they've also got receivers, and our defensive backfield has had issues stopping a team with a quarterback and a group of receivers. Seriously, though, Tyler Russell can play, the junior has thrown for 2,249 yards for 17 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. He averages 225 ypg, with help from a nice senior group of receivers led by Chad Bumphis, who has 43 catches for 676 yards and 8 touchdowns. So the Dawgs bring a potent passing attack to the game, yet not much rushing, starter LaDarius Perkins averages 89 ypg.
This, sadly, should be another long day for the Razorback defense.
Luckily, for Tyler, the Dawgs have only amassed 15 sacks this year. Though, they may have seen Arkansas' line on film, and got real inspired like. They are also only allowing 216 ypg, but Tyler and Cobi Hamilton are capable of anything. Maybe now is as good a time as ever for Knile Davis to show up this season, though Dennis Johnson should continue to get the bulk of the carries against a defense that allows 163 ypg.
Either way, as a touchdown underdog, Arkansas has a chance to pull of an upset, maybe even just on senior pride alone. Let's hope they've got enough of that to put on a show for us tomorrow, because, let's face it, it's over next week. I know, I know, triple OT a few years ago, Miracle on Markham, whatever, it could happen. And Jon Gruden COULD be named our next coach.