HOW TO WATCH
Game: Arkansas vs. #23 Mississippi State
Odds: Mississippi State (-9.5)
Time: 11 AM CST, Saturday Oct. 8, 2022
TV: SEC Network
Stream: ESPN App
Series: Arkansas leads 18-13-1
•Injuries are starting to pile up especially in the secondary this week. Freshman receiver, Sam Mbake, will move to play defensive back this week to bolster depth back there.
Will KJ Jefferson play? The situation has been doubtful the entire week. However, the star quarterback practiced this week to ensure he travels with the team this week regardless.
This should be closely monitored up until kickoff. If Jefferson doesn’t start Saturday, we will see Cade Fortin trot out as the man. The former USF Bull and UNC Tar Heel has only thrown one touchdown during his collegiate career.
It was announced last Saturday that Fortin is officially the backup. He passed fan favorite and the ultra fast Malik Hornsby for the spot. Again, this will be another situation to monitor if Jefferson is a no-go.
•Fighting through adversity has been something Arkansas has done in seemingly every game this season. Losing Catalon and Slusher in the season opener, Arkansas still rallied to win the first two games.
After being down 17-0, Arkansas roared back to defeat Missouri State by 11.
But, how will Arkansas respond coming off back-to-back losses? The Hogs never backed down even when things weren’t necessarily going that great. After losing all the momentum down 23-14 to Texas A&M, the Hogs came back and were a missed field goal away from being winners.
Last week, instead of laying down without a fight, Arkansas stormed back with a 23-0 run against Alabama in the third quarter. That run negated a 28-0 Crimson Tide lead and gave Arkansas hope to pull off an upset. Although it didn’t happen it does show signs of life that Arkansas won’t go down without a fight.
•It’s obvious that the Bulldogs’ Air Raid offense will provide issues to a struggling Razorback secondary. The Hogs are going to have to be disruptive somehow in the short passing game.
Pass rushers will have to be creative in using their hands to bat down passes. Plus, their linebackers will need to be sure tacklers in the open field to prevent Mississippi State’s offense from gaining chunk yards.
If the Razorbacks catch the Bulldogs off rhythm will go a long way to pulling off a road upset.
•Will Rogers leads the SEC and sits tied at first nationally for passing touchdowns (19) in the SEC. The former mid-three star quarterback has been quite the success story in the Mike Leach offense. Might we even say the prototypical quarterback of the Air Raid.
He’s garnered attention from the NFL and rightfully so according to SEC Networks, Laura Rutledge.
“It depends on where people pick, but he’s probably getting a little bit more NFL attention than people are talking about because so much of the focus is on some of these other quarterbacks,” Rutledge told the Clarion Ledger on Wednesday. “He continues to put up these numbers. He continues to play mistake-free football, for the most part, and orchestrate an offense.”