The Arkansas Razorbacks are preparing to take on the “Air Raid”, Mike Leach offense on Saturday and that in itself will be a tall task for a very talented but young Razorback secondary. Mississippi State is coming off a huge win over defending National Champions the LSU Tigers on Saturday. They will play at home in primetime against the Hogs on Saturday at 6:30 on the SEC Network.
The offensive numbers that the Bulldogs put up were unprecedented and never before seen in the SEC. Bulldog quarterback, K.J. Costello threw for 623 yards which is now the conference record for passing yards in a game. The previous record was held by Eric Zeier of Georgia in 1993 when he passed for 544 yards against Southern Miss.
Preparing for State this Saturday will start and end with slowing down the air assault by Costello. In the press conference previewing the contest, Razorback head coach, Sam Pittman was very complimentary of what Costello was able to do on Saturday.
“Costello was incredible,” said Pittman. “He could throw every throw. He was very poised. Coach Leach did a great job preparing that football team.”
Pittman would go on to say: “Costello had his career game. To come in as a transfer for his first game he did really outstanding.”
One of the vital members and returnees for the Bulldogs this season is running back Kylin Hill. He returned for his senior season after rushing for 1350 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Everyone knows that the run game will not be as utilized for State this fall but that does not mean Hill cannot be a factor through the air. Despite only carrying the football seven times for 34 yards on Saturday he did provide key plays in the passing game. Hill caught eight passes for 158 yards and a touchdown last week with a long reception of 75 yards. Geez. Will the Hogs be ready for him?
“Kylin hill is the guy the offense runs around,” said Pittman. “He is a really really exceptional football player. He is catching the ball out of the backfield and not running it as much.”
Obviously, the boundary and underneath routes will be something to watch on Saturday and how the secondary reacts to it. The Bulldogs also had two other receivers actually go over 100 yards on Saturday in Osius Mitchell (183 yards on 7 receptions and 2 touchdowns) and Javonta Payton (122 yards on 6 receptions).
The Bulldogs have plenty of receivers that can make plays but it will be up to the Razorback secondary to combat the attack if they want to have a chance to win on Saturday.