Feral Swine Headlines: Gauntlet Game One

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

After a crushing loss to Rutgers last week, Arkansas begins SEC play and it's four game gauntlet with Texas A&M. Here's what to watch for in week 5 of the Feral Swine Headlines.

It’s a new week (thank God) here in the college football world and that means we Arkansas faithful can put the Rutgers game behind us and look forward to top 10 Texas A&M and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel coming into Fayetteville.

Yikes.

Since last week’s game was so fun, I’ll leave it in last week, where it belongs, and just look forward to the fun that awaits this weekend. 3-1 A&M comes rolling into town after an ugly yet dominating performance over SMU (ugly because they missed 3 PAT’s and over 30 penalties were called, dominating because they still won by 29 points). What bodes well for Arkansas is that A&M is allowing 218 yards per game on the ground and 5.1 yards per carry, while the Razorbacks are rushing for 246 yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry. Alex Collins is the nation’s fifth best rusher through 4 weeks with 481 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Now, if you’ve watched an Arkansas game in the past few weeks, you’ll know that with Brandon Allen out, this offense is very one dimensional. Javontee Herndon, our leading receiver, has 200 yards on the season. Through two games, AJ Derby has thrown for 173 yards and one touchdown. Jonathan Williams also boasts one passing touchdown on his stat sheet. That should tell you all you need to know.

Now, we all know what can happen to our defense this week. Chris Smith and Trey Flowers could really make some NFL noise this weekend if they can contain Manziel, the only hard part will be containing Manziel. He leads the Aggie offense who are tops in the country with 2,409 total yards, Manziel accounts for 1,483 of them.

This is game one of Arkansas’ proverbial gauntlet, but we can hardly afford to look forward here. I think Arkansas can keep it close through the first half, and Budda and the Beast put on a show. At the end of the day, though, they’ll need I dunno, a quarterback to help them out. Unless the Austin Allen era begins this weekend (it won’t) I don’t see the duo getting any help.

The matchup should provide some fireworks, but I don’t see the Hogs getting out with a victory. Catch the game at 6 pm CT on ESPN 2.

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