Favorite

Arkansas Razorbacks 2016 football preview, part III 

A bye week caps off October so that the team heads to November in a rather unusually ideal position: eyeballing an SEC West title if someone can get Bama out of the way.

Bret Bielema - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • Bret Bielema

We've forecast the Arkansas Razorbacks to overcome two projected obstacles of note — a generally unseasoned offensive line and backfield and a rigorous early schedule — to triumphantly plunge into November with a 7-1 mark, the only loss coming to Alabama at home, but followed by a sweet pair of league victories against Ole Miss and Auburn. (Read parts I and II.) A bye week caps off October so that the team heads to November in a rather unusually ideal position: eyeballing an SEC West title if someone can get Bama out of the way.

We don't think the Hogs will be able to sustain that dream scenario to its terminus but we're still finding this team well positioned to continue the demonstrative improvements made by each of Bret Bielema's teams here.

Florida at Fayetteville, Nov. 5: The Gators were a surprise last fall when first-year coach Jim McElwain captained them all the way to Atlanta, but the offense went punchless once Will Grier was suspended. The promising quarterback eventually left the program and some defensive stalwarts also exited for professional riches.

Florida is therefore an enigma, and will likely mirror its seasonal curve from 2015 again: strong early against paltry competition, which buoyed the Gators to that division title, but then floundering late. There's still an unnerving lack of skill position depth at a program that was robust with it for years.

Arkansas is well rested and more than happy to treat the Gators like a homecoming piñata, especially considering that Florida remains the one program the Hogs haven't conquered as an SEC member. That long drought dies on a chilly early November day, with Austin Allen's two scoring passes to Jared Cornelius keying a breakaway second half. Hogs 33, Gators 17.

LSU at Fayetteville, Nov. 12: LSU is now fully cognizant of how badly the Hogs can wreck a season, sustaining back-to-back beatdowns while ranked against Razorback teams not even on the periphery of the Top 25. For a program that often lacks due motivation, the Tigers are annoyed and hostile on this night.

Leonard Fournette, stunted somewhat by the Hogs his first two tries, has a fine all-around game with three total TDs, but the key in this win for the Tigers is what always seems to be at the heart of an LSU win in this series: special teams. A blocked field goal return for a score, and a long punt return for Derrius Guice, gets the Bayou Bengals momentum in a game that more or less decides who ends up second in the division.

The Hogs aren't bad in this one, but playing from behind all night takes its toll in a wild affair. Tigers 37, Hogs 34.

Mississippi State at Starkville, Nov. 19: Whereas the Hogs have done a princely job against the allegedly superior Magnolia State school, the Bulldogs have quietly carved out four successive wins against the Hogs, and in this one, have designs on a fifth one that would put them into bowl eligibility a year after their best-ever quarterback, Dak Prescott, has moved on to Cowboy Country.

Arkansas's presumed struggles in Starkville end on this misty night, however. Allen rebounds from a sloppy and uneven game against LSU to play turnover-free, safe football, and Kody Walker uses the tough sledding to author his finest game ever with 134 yards and three scores. The defense overwhelms Dan Mullen's spread attack due to the slowed conditions. Hogs hit the 9-2 mark comfortably. Hogs 41, Bulldogs 18.

Missouri at Columbia, Nov. 25: Arkansas has a chance to hit 10 wins against a completely retooling Missouri program, which can't quite find its groove offensively still but plays well enough on the other side of the ball to be competitive.

In a manufactured rivalry, the game hits a level of hostility finally when a frustrating first half for the visitors ends with a slew of undisciplined penalties. The Hogs fall behind in an ugly game, 17-6, but the resourcefulness to reach the double-digit win mark is undeniable after halftime.

Bret Bielema gets a measure of redemption for a would-be victory at Faurot Field in 2014 that slipped away late. The Razorbacks storm back in the fourth quarter with Rawleigh Williams and Devwah Whaley punching in close-range TDs, and Cole Hedlund does the ultimate honors with the first game-winning kick of his career, a 38-yarder with no time left. Hogs 23, Tigers 20.


Favorite

Speaking of Arkansas Razorbacks, Bret Bielema

  • Belk bowling, b-ball

    December 8, 2016
    Before Pearls breaks its brief silent treatment about Razorback basketball's latest bid to shake off listless irrelevance, we'll spend a word or two on the Belk Bowl, where the football team draws a Dec. 29 matchup with Virginia Tech in Charlotte. /more/
  • Woeful

    December 1, 2016
    On Thanksgiving night, Bret Bielema could settle into his bed knowing that after a rather miserable 2013 inauguration, he had slipped comfortably into his job and the results were bearing some small but edible fruits for this ravenous fan base. He was only 25-24, but 18-10 with two bowl wins over his last 28 contests, a smattering of takedowns of ranked teams, and a stabilized roster that showed off the staff's endeavors to enlist and develop a caliber of player that would lead to better days ahead in a rugged conference. /more/
  • Williams shines

    November 24, 2016
    Alternating wins and losses has been the pattern behavior of Arkansas's 2016 season as it draws to its terminus. So after the Hogs gave their most listless and disappointing home effort in a good while against LSU, why wouldn't they just explode all over the cowbell-clanging din in Starkville the next time out? /more/
  • Deflated

    November 17, 2016
    Foolish consistency, per Emerson, is the hobgoblin of little minds. What commentary he would've offered about the Arkansas Razorbacks' 10 weeks of wild inconsistency is for debate, but he might've been more profane than pithy if he had to sit through this madness. /more/
  • After Auburn

    October 27, 2016
    I'm not one for hyperbole, but the mere mention of "56-3" changes things. /more/
  • Lessons learned

    October 20, 2016
    Picture Bret Bielema pole-vaulting for a minute. Then, once the laughter subsides, hear me out with this absurd analogy. /more/
  • UA faculty member apologizes for cursing football coach

    October 11, 2016
    The University of Arkansas faculty member who was arrested after cursing Hog football coach Bret Bielema following the Razorbacks' loss has apologized for his actions. /more/
  • On to Alabama

    October 6, 2016
    With War Memorial Stadium's mystique and alleged efficacy dying by the year, it was at least comforting to watch Arkansas finally devour a purported cupcake there. Bret Bielema boosted his Little Rock record to 2-3, with those two wins coming against Football Championship Subdivision schools, after the Hogs pummeled Alcorn State 52-10 on Saturday. /more/
  • Hogs blew it

    September 29, 2016
    Arkansas needed to beat Texas A&M. That's it. Sometimes perfunctory is poetry. /more/
  • 2-0

    September 15, 2016
    If you tuned in to ESPN Saturday night or settled into your seats at Fort Worth's compact but energetic Amon Carter Stadium, you undoubtedly felt like the impending Arkansas-TCU tilt was going to be compelling, if for no other reason because it pitted a burgeoning Big 12 power against a rising SEC program, with both having that Southwest Conference badging that went dormant a quarter-century ago. /more/
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Beau Wilcox

  • Belk bowling, b-ball

    Before Pearls breaks its brief silent treatment about Razorback basketball's latest bid to shake off listless irrelevance, we'll spend a word or two on the Belk Bowl, where the football team draws a Dec. 29 matchup with Virginia Tech in Charlotte.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Woeful

    On Thanksgiving night, Bret Bielema could settle into his bed knowing that after a rather miserable 2013 inauguration, he had slipped comfortably into his job and the results were bearing some small but edible fruits for this ravenous fan base. He was only 25-24, but 18-10 with two bowl wins over his last 28 contests, a smattering of takedowns of ranked teams, and a stabilized roster that showed off the staff's endeavors to enlist and develop a caliber of player that would lead to better days ahead in a rugged conference.
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Williams shines

    Alternating wins and losses has been the pattern behavior of Arkansas's 2016 season as it draws to its terminus. So after the Hogs gave their most listless and disappointing home effort in a good while against LSU, why wouldn't they just explode all over the cowbell-clanging din in Starkville the next time out?
    • Nov 24, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.

Latest in Pearls About Swine

  • Belk bowling, b-ball

    Before Pearls breaks its brief silent treatment about Razorback basketball's latest bid to shake off listless irrelevance, we'll spend a word or two on the Belk Bowl, where the football team draws a Dec. 29 matchup with Virginia Tech in Charlotte.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Woeful

    On Thanksgiving night, Bret Bielema could settle into his bed knowing that after a rather miserable 2013 inauguration, he had slipped comfortably into his job and the results were bearing some small but edible fruits for this ravenous fan base. He was only 25-24, but 18-10 with two bowl wins over his last 28 contests, a smattering of takedowns of ranked teams, and a stabilized roster that showed off the staff's endeavors to enlist and develop a caliber of player that would lead to better days ahead in a rugged conference.
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Williams shines

    Alternating wins and losses has been the pattern behavior of Arkansas's 2016 season as it draws to its terminus. So after the Hogs gave their most listless and disappointing home effort in a good while against LSU, why wouldn't they just explode all over the cowbell-clanging din in Starkville the next time out?
    • Nov 24, 2016
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Resurrection, reflection

    • http://hairtransplantncr.com/ hair transplant in delhi hair transplant ncr hair transplant cost hair transplant cost in…

    • on December 8, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation