The No. 13 Arkansas Razorbacks will take on No. 17 Ole Miss and Heisman candidate, quarterback Matt Corral, Saturday in a battle between Southeastern Conference opponents as both continue their climb in the Top-25 rankings.
|Game: #13 Arkansas (4-1) at #17 Ole Miss (3-1)
Location: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
Time: 12 p.m. ET
|#17 Ole Miss
Arkansas leads the all-time matchup history 36-30-1 and was victorious in last year’s meeting 33-21. Corral had a horrendous outing that day, throwing for 200 yards, two touchdowns, and six interceptions as the Razorbacks made his life miserable. He was also outdueled by opposing QB Feleipe Franks, now of the Atlanta Falcons, and will be looking to improve upon his previous effort this weekend.
Both teams are coming off of resounding losses to the top-two countries in America and will be looking to get their seasons back on track with a win.
Next game: vs No. 18 Auburn
The Razorbacks were completely shut down by the No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs, 37-0 after they had enjoyed a 4-0 start to their season. They only managed to put up 162 yards of total offense, throwing for 87 and rushing for 75. This comes in spite of having no turnovers — they were just simply overwhelmed by the UGA defense.
Their defense was also outplayed by their rivals, failing to record a sack or a turnover while giving up 37 points to Georgia’s backup quarterback and a string of reserve wide receivers. This was a rude wake-up call for a team that has built conference-winning aspirations during the first four weeks of the season, and they are now 1-1 in the SEC.
Quarterback KJ Jefferson has been wearing a brace on his left knee after falling awkwardly in a win over No. 7 Texas A&M but played against Georgia and figures to suit up again this weekend.
No. 17 Ole Miss
Next game: at Tennessee
While Arkansas took on Georgia last weekend, it was Ole Miss that dueled the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. They ended up bowing out with a final score of 42-21 in favor of the Tide, scoring 14 of their points in garbage time and all 21 after being shut out in the first half.
“We got dominated up front,” Lane Kiffin said. “That ain’t hard to see. Matt didn’t have much time. We had negative runs.”
Corral’s Heisman campaign took a hit as he only managed 213 yards and two total touchdowns, though his performance was a clear sign of improvement from last season.
Bama’s Brian Robinson Jr. ran wild on the Mississippi defense, toting 36 carries for 171 yards and four touchdowns on a career day. The Ole Miss defense will have to be much better if it hopes to win.
Junior receiver Jonathan Mingo will be the key absence for the Rebels as he is sidelined indefinitely with a broken foot. Mingo had caught 15 balls for 290 yards and three touchdowns.
Betting on the Game
This game opened at -5.5 in favor of Ole Miss, who has the home-field advantage in the impending matchup. They also will favor themselves in the quarterback battle as, despite a slower outing against Alabama, Corral is still firmly in the Heisman mix with 16 total touchdowns.
Corral will be the key to Ole Miss if it hopes to cover the spread, as he has accounted for nearly 70% of the team’s touchdowns. Henry Parrish Jr. and Jerrion Ealy split backfield duty, each having rushed for over 200 yards in the 2021 season.
The Rebels have actually run the ball more times than they have thrown this season, though this number is skewed by Corral’s attempts, many of which are tuck-and-runs on designed passing plays. He is the true playmaker of the team and can single-handedly carry Mississippi to victory.
On the other side, the Razorbacks run the ball over twice as much as they throw it, and this figure is only expected to increase, given that Jefferson is still dealing with the effects of his knee problem.
Four Arkansas running backs have exceeded 100 yards with Trelon Smith’s 302-yard total leading the pack. The ball-carriers have also accounted for 11 of the team’s 17 offensive touchdowns, making their intentions clear heading into a rivalry matchup with Ole Miss.
Tre Williams has been the catalyst of the visitors’ defense, securing four sacks, 2.5 more than the next closest on his team.
Prior to the Georgia debacle, Arkansas was only allowing 14.5 points per game, while Ole Miss was giving up around 20-and-a-half before their loss to Alabama. With both defenses being relatively stingy, this game should come down to who can control the clock better.
Given that Ole Miss is the healthier of the two teams, they are a strong candidate to cover the spread as they win by around a touchdown.
Following a similar line of logic to the one mentioned above, Ole Miss is the best bet on the moneyline; however, they offer less value, so an Ole Miss moneyline would be best if parlayed with other bets. Arkansas’ moneyline would be a great hedge bet as they are certainly capable of pulling off a win, even if they are on the road.
The points total has been set at a loft 67, which will be hard to cover for both teams; in total, the pair is averaging 49.6 combined points per game against Power Five opponents, which gives credence in the under pulling through. Combine this with the fact that there will be a heavy dose of the run and fewer possessions, and this one seems like the final scores and odds will be fairly cut-and-dry.