Published November 16, 2010 - 6:00am
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The Arkansas Razorbacks (8-2, 4-2) travel to Stark-Vegas to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-3, 3-3). The Hogs are coming off a thrashing of UTEP, while Mississippi State was dominated by Alabama. Here are five things you need to know:
1. Ryan Mallett is the best passing quarterback in the SEC, and maybe the country. Mallett set a school record last week with five touchdown passes in one game. Mallett will be a top 10 pick in the draft. He has just enough mobility in the pocket and has a rocket for an arm. He leads Arkansas, and they have the third best passing offense in the country. The Hogs average 343 yards through the air.
2. Mississippi State will have to score some points. The Bulldogs are known to get the lead and continue to run the football until the clock expires. However, Arkansas will score, and they will have a balanced attack while doing so. The Razorbacks are averaging over 35 points per game this year, while the Bulldogs are averaging 28. Mississippi State will have to find a lot of offensive if they want to win this one.
3. Arkansas has a balanced offensive attack. Sure, we all know about Ryan Mallett’s passing ability in Bobby Petrino’s offense, but what you might not know is running back Knile Davis is a legit back in this league. He has come to life over the last several games. Davis has nine rushing touchdowns in the last four games. Coach Petrino says Davis has improved immensely as the season has progressed.
4. The Bulldogs have to find a passing offense. Dan Mullen will have to have a passing attack in this one if they want a chance. If that means sitting Chris Relf and getting Tyler Russell more snaps with the first team in practice, that’s what needs to be done. Relf is not the passer, as Russell has more ability than Relf throwing the football. Neither is great, but if Mullen can find a way to use both and alternate quarterbacks, the Bulldogs might have a better chance.
5. Mississippi State has played well at home this year. The only loss they have suffered at home was to Auburn 17-14. They beat Georgia and a decent Kentucky team in Starkville. Maybe the cowbells hype them up and make them ready to play. They will have to be ready to take on the potent Arkansas offense in this one.