Two weeks ago, Arkansas was ranked 10th in the AP Top 25. The Razorbacks are now unranked as they prepare to visit No. 23 Mississippi State, which is coming off a win over a ranked opponent.
Last week, the Razorbacks (3-2, 1-2 SEC) lost to No.1 Alabama 49-26. They fell behind 28-0 in the first half, but battled back to a five-point deficit before giving up three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs (4-1,1-1) played a great game against then-No. 17 Texas A&M, beating the Aggies 42-24.
Arkansas’ season started great with three straight wins, including one over Cincinnati, but the team is slipping. The Razorbacks have lost the last two games against SEC competition and dropped out of the AP Top 25.
Quarterback KJ Jefferson has struggled in the passing game after a hot start. The running game for the Razorbacks has still been solid, putting up 244 yards in the loss to Texas A&M and 187 on a strong Alabama defense. Running back Raheim Sanders has been solid, rushing for over 100 yards in four games.
The defense has been the glaring weakness. It has given up 432.4 yards per game, with 289.6 through the air. Alabama dominated Arkansas on the ground, rushing for 317 yards.
A fumble in the red zone that was returned for a touchdown, and a missed game-winning field goal attempt against Texas A&M, could have drastically changed the Razorbacks’ season. Also, Arkansas’ third quarter against Alabama, when it scored 28 unanswered points, showed the team still has some fight left.
Mississippi State Making Big Plays
Mississippi State played nearly a perfect game against Texas A&M, finally working its way into the Top 25. The Bulldogs were knocking on the door of the rankings two weeks ago before losing to LSU.
The Bulldogs did not leave it up to chance against the Aggies, doing everything they needed to do to win. Quarterback Will Rogers looked great, throwing for 329 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He spread it around, with five receivers with grabbing four or more receptions. Rara Thomas had a big game with 134 yards and a touchdown.
The defense stepped up, making big play after big play with four sacks, two fumbles and two interceptions. One interception was returned for a touchdown, while special teams blocked a field goal and returned it for a touchdown.
In nearly all aspects of the game, the Bulldogs performed great. The defense did struggle a little outside of causing the turnovers, allowing 388 yards, most notably 136 on the ground.
Arkansas vs Mississippi State Injury Report
Mississippi State’s injury report is empty, while Arkansas has four players listed, including two that are out of the season. The most important name on the report is starting quarterback Jefferson, who is questionable with a head injury.
Arkansas vs Mississippi State Head-to-Head
Arkansas has the advantage over Mississippi State, winning 18 of the 32 games played between the schools. The Razorbacks have also won the last two games while the Bulldogs last won in 2019, away from home.
Arkansas vs Mississippi State Game Information
- Date: Saturday, Oct. 8
- Time: Noon ET
- Location: Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MS
- Arkansas vs Mississippi Live Stream: ESPN
Arkansas vs Mississippi State Betting Lines
Arkansas vs Mississippi State Prediction
The point spread initially opened up at 7½ in favor of Mississippi State, which makes sense due to how well the Bulldogs played last week. It has since climbed to 9½, with Jefferson listed as questionable after suffering a concussion against Alabama.
The Razorbacks have relied heavily on the running game, in which Jefferson has had a role. Their passing defense is weak, which happens to be the strength of the Bulldogs’ offense. The Bulldogs should have no trouble moving the ball on Arkansas.
“The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.“