Biggs Barker is a convicted cyber-criminal and former domestic wiretapper who also happens to be an enormous Razorbacks fan. He's been kind enough to take a break from his day job of stealing online credit card data to dig up some dirt on behalf of the Hogs. Enjoy his findings, but be sure to keep your computer passwords far away from his prying eyes.
Team: Jacksonville State University
Location: Jacksonville, Alabama
Conference: Ohio Valley
2011 Record: 7–4 (6–2 OVC) - Ohio Valley Conference Co-Champions
2012 Record: UNDEFEATED (after 0 games)
Another way you know them: A former Arkansas coach on their sidelines, and the memory of the last time Arkansas lost to a team outside of Division 1, (aka outside of the FBS). In fact the game will take place within 4 days of the 20 year anniversary of that loss to the Citadel, which was on September 5th, 1992. The next day, Frank Broyles and Jack Crowe had a conversation about the state of the football program.
Strengths: Offense. On a team picked 2nd to win the Ohio Valley Conference this season their strength lies in their offense. They are led by Running Back Washaun Ealey. You may recognize the name, as he racked up 1,528 rushing yards over 2 seasons in the SEC before transferring to Jacksonville State from Georgia. Their starting Quarterback, Marques Ivory, broke his leg in the season opener last year, but threw for over 2,000 yards in 2010 including 126 yards and two scores against the Rebels. They also return their top wide receiver from last year in Senior Alan Bonner.
Weaknesses: Defense. Coach Jack Krowe has commented several times that he's very young on defense, which might be a good thing considering last season the Gamecocks gave up over 26 ppg, including 38 to Chattanooga, 38 to Kentucky, and 52 to Eastern Kentucky.
Primary Rival: Well Troy... Sorta? The last time the two schools competed in The Battle for the Ol' School Bell, was 2001. It's kinda similar to people that saying that Texas is Arkansas' primary rival. Jacksonville State is Texas in this scenario as Troy left Jacksonville State behind to pursue greener pastures of the FBS, just like Arkansas left Texas to be in the SEC. To complete the analogy, Jacksonville State actually holds the series advantage over Troy.
New Opponent: Arkansas has played 127 teams over the last 118 years, but this will be the first meeting between Jacksonville State and The University of Arkansas. By late Saturday night Arkansas will add a 128th opponent to it's books. During that same time period Arkansas has notched wins against 104 different teams, and has a chance Saturday to increase that to 105 different teams. Meanwhile Jacksonville State looks to improve on it's 4-14 record against FBS teams.
This has been another Opposition Research segment with Biggs Barker. Biggs doesn't need FOIA requests to dig up the dirt. Be sure to look for him next week as the Hogs get ready to take on Louisiana-Monroe. While the football team has to focus on one game at a time, Biggs has already moved on to the next game.