PETE: Before we get into my prediction for this week, can we take a quick step back and think about the Georgia game? Arkansas was dominated in every phase, and they lost to the Bulldogs 37-0 in Athens. I predicted that too much was going to work in UGA’s favor for us to pull off the upset, and although I didn’t expect a blow out, I was unfortunately right. First true road game as QB1 for KJ and company, on-the-field mismatches, etc. played into what turned into a worst-case scenario for the Razorbacks. I say all of this because I don’t feel that way heading into Arkansas’ matchup with Ole Miss on Saturday.
In the first four games for the Hogs, when they went 4-0 against the likes of Texas A&M and Texas, I felt strongly that the coordinators for Arkansas held the upper-hand. Now that we’ve moved on from UGA, I feel confident again picking our coordinators over the other guys. Barry Odom made life a living hell last season for current Heisman frontrunner-quarterback Matt Corral during the Hogs’ win over OM. His philosophy of throwing different looks at the offense works very well in certain situations. Although this is a brand-new Corral, I still think mixing up looks could be an issue for the talented quarterback. I don’t expect five turnovers, but I do expect to slow him down and force mistakes.
That leads us to the offensive side of the ball. I wasn’t a big fan of the game plan that Kendal Briles drew up against Georgia, but I don’t put all the blame on him. I expect the Hogs to try and establish the run early, which will open up the bag once again for Jefferson and the offense. As we learned last week, it all starts up front in the trenches. With an experienced offensive line like the Razorbacks have, they should be able to put that brutal performance in the rearview. We know that Coach Pittman was all over their butts this week in practice and film.
Ole Miss is going to score points, but I think Arkansas will get back to putting on an electric offensive performance, as well. It certainly helps that the Rebs are playing in Oxford, but I think that now that the Hogs have faced a true road test in the SEC that won’t matter as much. With both teams coming off of embarrassing performances against Georgia and Alabama, there will be a sense of urgency early on. I’m expecting an exciting matchup at 11 a.m., and I’m rolling with the Hogs to pull this one out.
This team is built to bounce back. Adversity is nothing new for the Razorbacks, who have faced adversity throughout their entire careers. Taking on the mentality of their head coach, Sam Pittman, they will turn things around. Corral will have a chance to put together a winning drive in the fourth quarter but Arkansas’ defense comes up big.
Arkansas 31, Ole Miss 27
ZACHARY: The Razorbacks have one of the toughest schedules in the country, this Saturday only adds to that narrative.
After a brutal loss to Georgia, the Razorbacks are now headed to Oxford to face the Ole Miss Rebels. Arkansas had plenty of success at home last year against the Rebels.
Matt Corral, a referenced Heisman contender looks to improve against the Razorbacks. Many of you likely remember his tough day in Fayetteville last season.
While Corral and the Rebels are impressive, I don’t think they will be able to slow down the Razorback offense. I’m also looking for our defense to resume it’s hard nosed image we were getting used to.
My only real concern is the Georgia loss having a mental impact on our team. Traveling to Oxford and winning is a tough task, as we have seen so many times in the past.
Add in a 11 AM start and the concern could grow even more.
Regardless, I’m taking the Razorbacks in this one. Woo pig!
Arkansas 34 Ole Miss 24
BEN: Georgia’s blowout of Arkansas was a gut punch for everyone. Fans were riding a high not seen in over a decade. That #8 next to the Arkansas name meant something. It was something that, truthfully, a younger section of fans don’t remember seeing before.
Tomorrow’s game is the most difficult pick for me this season. I have wrestled and wrestled. I’ve debated myself and I still don’t have a good feeling about my prediction.
Despite all the injuries Ole Miss is dealing with, I’ll go with my gut. Please don’t be mad.
Ole Miss 35, Arkansas 27
DAN: Last week’s game left a bitter taste in the Razorback’s mouth. They were dominated in every single phase of the game for 60 minutes. But as coach Pittman said, they’re not going to let that game lose the Ole Miss game.
I expect the Hogs to come out more assertive on offense this week. I think this will be a career game for Rocket Sanders, who has showed this season he belongs with the big boys. The key to the game is the rushing attack. How well can Arkansas operate on the ground will dictate how well they operate through the air.
On the other sideline, though, there’s also a bitter taste. Ole Miss was embarrassed by Alabama in much the same way that Arkansas was. I don’t expect two bad games in a row for Lane Kiffin. The key for the Rebels is through the air. Can they get things going with Johnathan Mingo out and Jerrion Ealy banged up? Those two have accounted for almost a quarter of the offensive production this season.
Ultimately, this game feels like a toss up. Both teams have weaknesses, and both know how to exploit the others. When it comes to a toss up, I tend to go with the home team, unfortunately. Ole Miss wins in a nailbiter.
Arkansas 28, Ole Miss 31
GRAHAM: Arkansas and Ole Miss have redemption on their minds in week six. Each team received an embarrassing blowout loss last week. I am sure the Hogs have been circled on Matt Corral’s calendar since last October. However, I think Ole Miss is the team still hungover on Saturday. Sam Pittman’s Razorbacks get back on track with their physicality this weekend. Defensively, the Hogs punch the Rebels in the mouth and take Corral’s weapons away from him. Meanwhile, the Razorback offensive line flips the script to establish the run game early.
Arkansas 30 Ole Miss 17