Razorback Football Schedule Preview: November

Wesley Hitt

Can Arkansas manage at least a split in November to become bowl eligible?

With the Arkansas schedule preview reaching its final month, I have the Hogs sitting at 4-4 entering November. The last month of the season, which presents four possible wins will ultimately tell the story of Bret Bielema's first year as Head Hog.

With Arkansas playing two games on both the road and at home in November, the schedule is favorable and manageable for Arkansas to reach the 6-win plateau.

Game #9: Auburn (Nov. 2)

After a historically bad season that saw the school's first 0-8 record in conference play, and first winless conference season since 1980, Auburn is looking to rebound in 2013 following the firing of Gene Chizik, and return of Gus Malzahn.

Things to know:

- War Eagle finished 3-9 (0-8 SEC) in 2012

- Lost to Arkansas in Jordan-Hare Stadium 24-7 last season

- Lost Corey Lemonier to NFL Draft, and lost RB/WR Ontario McCalebb and TE Philip Lutzenkirchen

- Top returning tackler from 2012, Demetruce McNeal, dismissed from team after arrest

Key returning players:

QB Nick Marshall – Named starting QB by Gus Malzahn over the weekend. Marhsall, a JUCO transfer, passed for 3,142 yards, 18 TDs and 20 INTs in 2012 at Garden City CC (Kansas). He also ran for 1,095 yards and 19 TDs last season.

RB Tre Mason – Tabbed to the preseason Doak Walker Award watch list. Mason rushed for 1,002 yards and 8 TDs in 2012. He is also a preseason 2nd team All-SEC selection by the SEC Media, and Phil Steele, and a All-SEC 3rd teamer by Athlon.

WR Quan Bray – An elite athlete and kick returner whose role will increase with the loss of Ontario McCalebb. Bray caught 14 passes for 94 yards in 2012, and also went 1-1 passing for 33 yards and a TD.

DE Dee Ford – Named to the Bednarik Award watch list, and a 2nd team All-SEC selection by the SEC Media. Led the team in sacks in 2012 with 6, tallied 34 tackles, 6.5 for loss, and forced a fumble last season.

Game #10: at Ole Miss (Nov. 9)

Things are on the up-and-up in Oxford in year two of the Hugh Freeze regime. After finishing strong in 2012, the Rebels have high hopes for a very successful year and another step towards national prominence in 2013.

Things to know:

- Ole Miss brings in the #5 recruiting class for 2013

- Finished 7-6 in 2012

- Picked to finish 4th in SEC West

- Won Egg Bowl (vs Miss. State), and def. Pittsburgh in BBVA Compass Bowl 38-17

- Only SEC school not to lose a player to the NFL Draft this year

Key returning players:

QB Bo Wallace – Named to the Maxwell, Davey O'Brien, and Manning Award watch lists. Returns to Ole Miss after throwing for 2,994 yards and 22 TDs, while also rushing for 390 yards and 8 TDs. Wallace attended Arkansas State for one year while Hugh Freeze was with the Red Wolves.

WR Donte Moncrief – Named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list after hauling in 66 passes for 979 yards and 10 TDs in 2012. Moncrief was also named preseason 2nd team All-SEC at SEC Media Days.

LB Denzel Nkemdiche – Named to the Lombardi, and Nagurski watch lists for 2013. Nkemdiche was named to the AP All-SEC team, All-SEC freshman team, freshman All-American team, and was a FWAA All-American. Aside from accolades, he also led the Rebels in tackles in 2012 with 82, had 13 tackles for loss, recorded three sacks, intercepted three passes, and forced four fumbles.

RB Jeff Scott – Selected to preseason 3rd team All-SEC at SEC Media Days. Scott led the Rebels in rushing with 846 yards and 6 TDs, and also caught 23 passes for 177 yards and one score in 2012. He enters his senior season at Ole Miss 9th in school history in career rushing yards.

OPEN DATE (Nov. 16)

With a a bye week, this allows Arkansas a little extra time to prepare for possibly its biggest game of the year vs Mississippi State in War Memorial Stadium.

Game #11: Mississippi State (Nov. 23) in Little Rock

Building off an incredible year for the Bulldogs won't come easy in 2013 with the loss of several key playmakers. But, several key players return from a 9-5 team in 2012.

Things to know:

- Fell to Northwestern in Gator Bowl 34-20 in 2012

- Selected to finish 6th in SEC West

- Lose top WR Chad Bumphis, and top DBs Jonathan Banks and Darius Slay to NFL

Key returning players:

QB Tyler Russell – Named to Maxwell, Walter Camp, and Davey O'Brien Award watch lists. Russell passed for 2,897 yards and 24 TDs last season, earning SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors after wins over Auburn and Arkansas. He also served as a counselor at the Manning Passing Academy this summer.

RB LaDarius Perkins – Named to the Doak Walker, Maxwell, and Hornung Award watch lists after rushing for 1,024 yards and 8 TDs, and catching 19 passes for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2012. Perkins has also been named preseason 2nd team All-SEC at SEC Media Days.

DB Nickoe Whitley – Named to the Nagurski Award watch list, and selected as an All-SEC safety by Phil Steele, and Athlon. Whitley recorded 88 tackles, 3.5 for loss, picked off 3 passes and forced a fumble last season. He enters 2013 tied for second in the country among returning FBS players with 10 career interceptions.

LB Benardrick Mckinney – The Bulldogs leading returning tackler from 2012 (102). Has been named to the preseason Butkus, and Bednarik Award watch lists for 2013. Mckinney was recently named the #8 "Craziest Athlete in College Football" by CBS Sports. He is also a preseason All-SEC selection by Phil Steele, and Athlon, and earned freshman All-American honors for his play in 2012.

Game #12: at LSU (Nov. 29)

As always, the Battle for the Golden Boot will be an interesting contest to end the season. It could also be the last time LSU and Arkansas meet on Black Friday with new conference scheduling going into effect in 2014.

Things to know:

- Selected to finish 3rd in SEC West

- Finished 10-3 in 2012 after Chick-Fil-A Bowl loss to Clemson

- First year under new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron

- Lost nine players to the NFL Draft, including Sam Montgomery, Barkevious Mingo, Eric Reid, and Kevin Minter and seven more signed as undrafted free agents including punter Brad Wing

Key returning players:

QB Zach Mettenberger – Becoming more and more comfortable with Cam Cameron's new offense. Mettenberger threw for 2,609 yards and 12 scores in his first year as the Tigers' starting QB. He has also been named to the preseason Maxwell Award watch list for 2013.

WR Jarvis Landry – Led the 2012 Tiger receiving corps with 56 receptions and 5 touchdowns, and was second on the team in receiving yards with 573. Landry was also named a preseason 3rd team All-SEC receiver at SEC Media Days. Landry also has 20 career special teams tackles, and a pair of fumble recoveries on punt coverage in his career.

DL Anthony Johnson – Named to the Bednarik, Outland Trophy, and Nagurski Award watch lists. Johnson has also been named an All-SEC 1st teamer by the SEC Media. He tallied 30 tackles, 10 for loss, and three sacks in 2012.

DB Craig Loston – A preseason 1st team All-SEC selection, and 2nd team All-American by Sports Illustrated. Loston tallied 55 tackles, three for loss, recorded three interceptions, and four pass deflections in 2012. He has also been named to the Bednarik, and Nagurski watch lists.

LB Lamin Barrow – Found himself on the Bednarik Award watch list for 2013, and is a preseason 2nd team All-SEC selection by the SEC Media. Barrow is LSU's top returning tackler from 2012 with 104 tackles, 7.5 for loss. He also forced two fumbles, and broke up five passes last season.

Barrow was also honored recently with the Tigers' #18 jersey. The number is given to a special Tiger player each year who upholds the university's values both on and off the field.

Results:

After assessing Arkansas' November schedule, I have the Hogs going 2-2 for the month, bringing them to 6-6 on the season, and bowl eligible (Editor's note: WOOT!) in Bret Bielema's first year.

Wins: Auburn, Mississippi State

Losses: Ole Miss, LSU

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