Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date/Time: Saturday November 21st, 7:00PM EST
Where: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium Fayetteville, A.R.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MSU +4/ARK -4
Over/Under Total: 58
After starting the year with 3 losses in their first 4 games, the Arkansas Razorbacks have rallied to turn their season around by winning 5 of their last 6 games with their only loss coming to Alabama during that stretch. Two of those victories have been crazy overtime games with Auburn and Ole Miss. Either way the Razorbacks keep finding ways to win and it is pretty safe to say that they have a lot of momentum going. This Saturday night the Razorbacks try to keep that momentum going against a solid 7-3 SU Mississippi State Bulldogs team inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The Bulldogs suffered a confidence crushing 31-6 loss to Alabama last week. The Bulldogs defense had no answer for Alabamas running game as Derrick Henry topped the 200 yard mark on the ground. The Mississippi State offense could not get much going as they mustered just 2 field goals on the afternoon. The good news is things should be somewhat easier for Mississippi State this week. Arkansas has not had the greatest defense this year despite somewhat shutting down Leonard Fournette last week and holding LSU to just 14 points in an impressive 31-14 victory.
However, the opportunity still persist for the Bulldogs to bounce back this week especially on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 300 yards last week against Alabama but they just could not find ways to put points on the scoreboard. Prescott has thrown for at least 300 yards in 4 straight games and his rushing ability to makes him an even bigger threat against this Arkansas defense. The Razorbacks have been torched against the pass this season to the likes of 282 yards per game through the air which ranks 113th in the FBS.
Bulldogs wide outs DeRunnya Wilson and Fred Ross should be able to get plenty of opportunities in the passing game and I have the feeling this could be a big afternoon for the Mississippi State offense. However, that is not to say that I am giving the win to the Bulldogs quite yet. Arkansas has overcome several high scoring affairs in recent weeks most notably in the two overtime contest against Ole Miss and Auburn. In each of those games, the Razorbacks scored victories while allowing their opponents to score more than 50 points. In fact, in the last 4 games Arkansas has averaged 50 points per game against the likes of Auburn, Tennessee-Martin, an 18th ranked Ole Miss team, and most recently against a 9th ranked LSU team.
The question heading into this Saturdays contest becomes what type of number will they have to put up to score another victory? As stated previously, I expect the Bulldogs to move the ball rather well. The question becomes how successful will Arkansas be on the offensive side of the ball. Derrick Henry carved up the Bulldogs defense to the tune of 200 yards last week and Alex Collins will get his chance to do the same this week. Collins has already amassed 1,209 yards on the ground with 14 touchdowns this season so there is no doubt that he will get plenty of chances this Saturday night.
I believe Collins will have some success on the ground but I think quarterback Brandon Allen has to play well for the Razorbacks to continue their winning streak. Allen threw for 6 touchdowns in the overtime victory against Ole Miss and I think he will be needed often in what I expect to be a high scoring game this week. The Bulldogs defense has done a pretty good job of slowing down opposing passing attacks this year yielding just 195 yards per game. A large part of that success is the pressure they get up front among their defensive line so keep an eye on the battle upfront when Arkansas has the football as it will be critical towards the way this game unfolds.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Points, points, and more points. Take the over 58!
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