Arkansas vs. Mississippi State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, November 17
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MS
Arkansas (2-8) vs. Mississippi State (6-4) Game Preview
One Reason Why Arkansas Will Win
The team hasn’t quit.
It certainly could’ve as it was getting hammered by LSU at the end of a lost season, but the offense kept pushing, and there’s been just enough of a passing game over the last few weeks to think that something might click – even if it’s too late.
After struggling way too much over the first half of the year, the passing game has hit the 200-yard mark in three of the last five games with ten touchdowns. The MSU defense might be fantastic, but it’s given up over 200 yards four times on the year – Arkansas has to at least do that.
To pull this off, the Hog passing game has to go crazy, and the sacks have to be there to bother Nick Fitzgerald from the start.
The pass rush hasn’t been enough to bail out the secondary, but it’s good at generating big plays on third downs. Those have to come throughout the game – again, the team has to keep trying, and hope MSU is a bit down.
The Bulldog offense has scored seven points or fewer in four of the last seven games, and when it hasn’t worked, it really hasn’t worked. However …
One Reason Why Mississippi State Will Win
The Arkansas defense isn’t Alabama’s, or Florida’s, or Kentucky’s or LSU’s – the four that shut down the Mississippi State O.
The key will be how fired up the Bulldog defense is to get a win in the home finale. When it’s on, the MSU defense is a rock on third downs, allowing teams to convert fewer than 30% of their tries on the season, and Arkansas is horrible at keeping the chains moving.
The Hog O failed to convert 30% of its third down chances in five of its last eight games, and now the mediocre offensive front has to deal with the killer Bulldog D line.
As is, Arkansas has a wildly inefficient and inconsistent passing attack – this isn’t the week it’s going to suddenly get healthy. And …
What’s Going To Happen
Fitzgerald has been terrific against Arkansas over the last two years.
He ran for over 100 yards in each game – winning in 2017, and losing the shootout in 2016 – and threw well in each one. After being held in check by Alabama last week, he’ll be turned loose and he’ll take over the game from the start.
It’s his final game in Starkville. He’ll be fantastic, the Bulldog defense will be amazing in the first half, and MSU will take an early lead and won’t be threatened.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Mississippi State 34, Arkansas 13
Line: Mississippi State -20.5, o/u: 46.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 2.5
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