After the first two installments of this series, I have the Razorbacks sitting at 4-4 heading into November. The final month is always a big month, regardless of the team. Teams want to finish strong to become bowl eligible, get to the best bowl possible, or position themselves for conference and national titles.
The Razorbacks are no different. November will be all about becoming bowl eligible for Bret Bielema and his staff. In the final month, Arkansas will play two in front of the home crowd, and two on the road. A split would be fantastic for the program in getting into a bowl game, BUT WHY STOP THERE WHEN YOU CAN JUST WIN'EM ALL!
Here's how the November schedule plays out: at Mississippi State, LSU, Ole Miss and at Missouri to close out the regular season on Black Friday.
Let's start with game #9: Mississippi State.
Game #9: Arkansas at Mississippi State - Nov. 1
Things to know:
– The Bulldogs are picked to finish 5th in the SEC West by the league's media.
– Finished 2013 7-6 (3-5 SEC) and defeated Rice 44-7 in the Liberty Bowl.
– CLANGA's home field, David Wade Stadium, turns 100 this season. It celebrated by getting a $75M expansion, pushing capacity to 61,337.
– Arkansas leads the all-time series 15-8-1.
QB Dak Prescott - Recently stuck his throwing arm inside a cow because Starkville. Aside from that, he's a pretty good football player. Prescott has been named to the Manning, Maxwell and Davey O'Brien Award watch lists after rushing for 829 yards and 13 TDs and throwing for 1,940 yards and 10 scores. Dak is a second team All-SEC pick by the league media and a fourth team selection by Athlon and Phil Steele. He did not play vs. Arkansas in 2013.
WR Jameon Lewis - The receiver was 3-for-3 for 84 yards and three scores passing last season. Lewis caught 64 passes for 923 yards and five scores. He is a first team All-SEC selection by Phil Steele, and a third team pick by Athlon and the league media. Lewis has been named to the Biletnikoff and Hornung Award watch lists.
LB Benardrick McKinney - The Bulldogs' top returning tackler (71). McKinney also recorded seven tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, four QB hurries and two fumble recoveries. He has been named to the Bednarik, Nagurski, Butkus, and Lombardi Award watch lists. The junior is a second team All-SEC selection by the league media and Phil Steele, and a third team pick by Athlon.
DL Chris Jones - Jones tied with McKinney with seven tackles for loss in 2013, and was second on the team in sacks with three. He recorded 32 tackles, broke up three passes and hurried the QB 10 times. The defensive tackle is a first team All-SEC pick by Phil Steele, second team All-SEC selection by the league media, and third team by Athlon. He was also named to the Lombardi Award watch list.
OPEN DATE - Nov. 8
Game #10: #13 LSU at Arkansas - Nov. 15
Things to know:
– LSU finished 10-3 (5-3) in 2013 and defeated Iowa 21-14 in the Outback Bowl.
– Lost eight players to the NFL Draft, and a handful of other talented players who went undrafted (Craig Loston, Ego Ferguson, Anthony Johnson).
– Tigers bring in 2014's No. 3 recruiting class, highlighted by a dude named Buga.
– LSU leads all-time series 37-20-2.
RB Leonard Fournette - A true freshman who is actually a grown man. A fourth team All-SEC pick by Phil Steele and Athlon without playing a down of actual college football. Again, he's a freshman, but enters LSU standing at six-foot-one, 230 pounds. Fournette ran for 354 yards and three scores IN ONE GAME as a junior in high school and won nearly every player of the year award ever as a senior. He wears braces.
QBs Brandon Harris and Anthony Jennings - LSU's starting QB has yet to be named so here's a little on both guys.
Harris is a true freshman and an early enrollee. He was the No. 3 dual-threat QB in the nation in 2014. Threw for 195 yards, three scores, and ran for 77 yard and a score in the LSU spring game.
Anthony Jennings played in nine games last season, starting one (Iowa in Outback Bowl). He finished the season 13-for-29 through the air for 181 yards and one touchdown (which we will never, ever speak of).
RB Terrence Magee - Honored with the No. 18 for the season. LSU's top returning rusher. Ran for 626 yards and eight scores on 86 carries. Magee ran for 100+ yards three times last season. He has also been known to return kickoffs every now and then.
DE Jermauria Rasco - First team All-SEC Name team. The senior is a third team All-SEC selection by Phil Steele after he recorded 56 tackles, 6.5 for loss, and a team-high four sacks. He also broke up five passes and hurried the QB eight times. Rasco has had surgery on both shoulders each of the last two springs to address torn labrum injuries. He racked up seven tackles in last year's win over Arkansas.
Game #11: #18 Ole Miss at Arkansas - Nov. 22
Things to know:
– Finished 8-5 (3-5 SEC) in 2013 and defeated Georgia Tech 25-17 in the Franklin America Mortgage Music City Bowl.
– Lost WR Donte Moncrief to NFL Draft (Round 3, Pick 90 - Colts).
– Picked to finish fourth in the SEC West by the league media. Also received two votes to win the SEC title.
S Cody Prewitt - The anchor in the Rebel secondary is a first team All-SEC selection by the league media, Athlon and Phil Steele. He's also a first team All-American pick by SI, Lindy's, Phil Steele and CFB Matrix. Prewitt is catching interceptions on all you innocent pedestrians. He led the SEC in picks last season with six. He also recorded 71 tackles, 4.5 for loss, broke up seven passes and forced a pair of fumbles. The senior has been named to the Walter Camp, Bednarik, Jim Thorpe and Nagurksi Award watch lists. In short, he's really good at footbaw.
DT Robert Nkemdiche - A first team All-SEC selection by league media, Athlon and Phil Steele. He's also been named a preseason All-American by Sporting News, Athlon and Phil Steele. The sophomore monster has been named to the Outland, Nagurski and Lombardi Award watch lists after recording 34 tackles, eight for loss, two sacks and a pair of pass breakups a season ago.
QB Bo Wallace - AKA DOCTOR FREEDOM, according to @celebrityhottub. A second team All-SEC pick by Phil Steele, Athlon, and a third team selection by the league media. Wallace is the league's top returning passer. He threw for 3,346 yards and 18 scores last season (65% comp.) and also ran for 355 yards and six touchdowns. The senior QB has been named to the Maxwell, Davey O'Brien, Johnny Unitas Golden
Boy Arm and Manning Award watch lists.
WR Laquon Treadwell - Ya boy Laquon. The 2013 SEC freshman of the year after hauling in freshman school records in receptions (72), receiving yards (608), and touchdowns (5). Treadwell is a first team All-SEC pick by Athlon, USA Today and CFB Matrix. CFB Matrix also named him a preseason All-American. He's a member of the Biletnikoff and CFPA WR Trophy lists.
Game #12: Arkansas at #24 Missouri - Nov. 28
Things to know:
– Lose RB Henry Josey, DGB, and DEs Michael Sam and Kony Ealy.
– Picked to finish fourth in the SEC East by the league media. Had less votes to win the SEC than Arkansas.
– Finished 12-2 (7-1) in 2013, and defeated Oklahoma State 41-31 in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.
– Missouri leads the all-time series 3-2.
QB Maty Mauk - The redshirt sophomore is a third team All-SEC pick by Athlon. Mauk was named to the 2013 SEC All-Freshman team after throwing for 1,071 yards and 11 scores taking over for an injured James Franklin. He attended the Manning Passing Camp as a counselor and didn't have to leave early because he
was hungover overslept.
DE Markus Golden - The ferocious defensive end is a second team All-SEC pick by the league media and Athlon. The redshirt senior led a very talented DE unit with 55 tackles last season. Also tallied 13 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and eight QB hurries. Golden picked off one pass and returned it 70 yards for a score in 2013. He's on the Bednarik Award watch list, also.
RB Marcus Murphy - Named a second team All-SEC performer after 2013. Murphy racked up 1,425 all-purpose yards last year (a team-best) and found the end zone 10 times. He took over punt and kickoff return duties last season and tallied nearly 800 yards doing so. Named to the Hornung Award watch list. Murphy is a parks, recreation & tourism major.
S Braylon Webb - The redshirt senior is a third team All-SEC pick by Athlon, and fourth team selection by Phil Steele. Recorded three interceptions last year and is the Tigers' top returning tackler (89). Webb also broke up seven passes and recorded a tackle and a half for loss.
November will tell the tale of the tape once again for Arkansas, and I have them coming up just short of a bowl game. I know, I'm an idiot. Ridicule me if you will. I'm cautiously optimistic about this team, and think five wins is a truly realistic expectation for Bielema in year two.
Losses: Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Missouri
Final record: 5-7 (2-6 SEC)
How do you see November playing out? Is Arkansas going bowling or staying home?