If there’s one thing that I learned last weekend, it’s that Time Warner Cable and ESPN don’t play well in the sandbox. I found that out when trying to watch Arkansas dismantle South Carolina 33-16 on ESPN360.com and wasn’t allowed on the site. So I switched between the play-by-play screens on both Yahoo! Sports and ESPN. In times like that, I’ll just take what I’m given — just like Coach Bobby Petrino, Ryan Mallett, DJ Williams and the rest of the Razorbacks offense did when South Carolina dared them to throw under their deep coverage. Let me read to you a very telling stat-line: 23 of 27 passes, 329 yards (12.2 yards per pass), 0 Passing TDs, 1 Rushing TD, 0 INTs. That was Mallett’s numbers on Saturday against the (previously ranked) #3 Pass Defense in the country. Mallett finally did what the coaches asked of him — control the game, take what the defense gives you and don’t try to pressure anything.
Ryan was superb and trusted his receivers to make the plays after the catch. How good was it to see DJ Williams back in the game that much? If Mallett keeps this up, he’ll improve on his #8 passer rating in the country at 156.7. Ryan is doing so well that even Chris Low thinks Mallett is the choice for All-SEC QB, but that’ll never happen while Tebow is alive. The defense DID allow one big play of 80 yards for a score, but after that, they tightened up and played fairly well. A big interception in the end zone by Jerell Norton was the defensive tide shift and once the lead was more than 10 points, we sat back and made South Carolina sweat it out.
It was a great win for the Hogs and we now sit at 5-4 on the season — which is one win away from being bowl-eligible. The good news, we have three games left to accomplish that. The next good news, two of those three games are at home. The bad news, this weekend we play a Troy team that is usually good year-in and year-out (ask LSU).
This could easily be a HUGE trap game for the Razorbacks. Right now we’re flying high after a big win over an SEC opponent and in walks Troy, who is 7-2 on the season and a team that looks a LOT like us in the stat book — 282 points scored (Arkansas has 320), 235 points surrendered (235), 458 yards/game (434), 325 passing yrd/game (312), 142 rushing yrd/game (134) — sound familiar? The difference — Arkansas plays in the SEC and Troy plays in the Sun Belt. I know this isn’t a proper litmus test, but Troy also played Florida this year and lost 56-6. In looking at how that game went down, Florida didn’t have a lot of big scoring plays — but there were quite a few plays that went for 30+ yards.
I’m a little concerned about the game from a defensive perspective. I highly believe our offense will carve Troy up. But can our defense stop them long enough to build a big lead. Additionally, can we apply enough pressure to their QB to get them out of rhythm? Willy Robinson better have a good plan and have his boys ready to go. Otherwise, it could be a track meet.
So let’s get to the score predicting. Sassy’s Red House has once again stepped up to provide the prize for our weekly score-predicting contest. Whoever is closest gets some delicious BBQ for their tailgate party.
How to enter
Leave a comment with your name, e-mail address and score prediction. If you want to add anything else, feel free.
What you’ll win
A tailgating package for four (4) from Sassy’s Red House. More info here.
Check the rules page for all the details. Here’s the basics:
- You only may enter this specific contest once.
- The winning entry must pick the winning team and have the smallest combined difference from each team’s final score. More info here.
- You must pick the score by Saturday, November 14, at 6:15 pm.
What’s gonna happen in this one, boys and girls?
Jonathan says: We take on the the best the Sun Belt has offer. They put up a good fight, but we take ’em down in the end. Chalk up one more in “W” column.
Arkansas 38, Troy 31
Bowl game outlook update: I’m as good as predicting bowl games as I am remembering the companies that sponsor them. So… I predict we’re going to the Dr. Scholl’s In-sole Bowl. Or perhaps the Tostito’s Pizza Roll Bowl… Or maybe, just maybe the Manute Bol Bowl.
Todd says: That Troy QB
is was on a roll.
Arkansas 41, Troy 20
Bowl game outlook update: Final Four! Wait…
Trip says: The red pants continue to look awesome.
Arkansas 45, Troy 28
Bowl game outlook update: BCS Championship!
Seth says: There’s way too many people Tweeting about galoshes for my comfort.
Arkansas 41, Troy 28
Bowl game outlook update: Some analysts are saying we’re going to the Chick-ail-A Bowl or the Autozone Liberty Bowl. I’m sticking to my guns and saying the Advocare Independence Bowl vs. Kansas, or Missouri.
Dustin says: Much too close for comfort, but Arkansas pulls out the victory.
Arkansas 42, Troy 35
Bowl game outlook update: Screw the Taco Salad Bowl. We win out, and hit my original prediction of the Cotton Bowl. Maybe.
Thanks to Sassy’s Red House for sponsoring this contest. PIck up some BBQ on game day from their bulk menu. Go pick ’em!