As great as Arkansas’ win against Texas Tech was last week, the Hogs must move on and face the task at hand: beating Northern Illinois.

NIU (3-0) isn’t your average mid-major. The Huskies have won double-digit games in four straight seasons and even had a BCS bowl appearance in 2012. Much of that was due to the play of former quarterback Jordan Lynch, but even without Lynch, NIU has proven to be a tough out for any team.

The Razorbacks enter this game as a near two-score favorite and here’s how we see this game playing out with some of our bold predictions for the Hogs.

Bold prediction #1: Brandon Allen throws for at least 225 yards and three touchdowns

The running game for the Hogs has been the big storyline so far this season and for good reason. However, head coach Bret Bielema said earlier this week that the passing game is “the best kept secret in Fayetteville.”

Arkansas will always be a run-first team, but I think this is the week Bielema lets Allen throw the ball around the football field like he’s saying Allen’s capable of. The junior quarterback has shown the tools and the resolve to be a serviceable SEC quarterback and I believe this is the week Allen shows what he can do, especially with a game against Texas A&M looming in the not-so-distant future.

Bold prediction #2: Keon Hatcher and Jared Cornelius combine for 150 receiving yards and two TDs

In conjuncture with Allen’s big day, I also believe his top two wide receivers – Keon Hatcher and Jared Cornelius – will have a big day. One reason is the Northern Illinois passing defense. The Huskies rank just 89th nationally, giving up 259 passing yards per game.

There’s no question that Hatcher and Cornelius are the Hogs’ top big-play threats at wide receiver, so Allen getting them the ball should really help stretch the defense. It’s even more important for Hatcher and Cornelius to have big games this week so the Hogs’ next opponent, Texas A&M, respects both the passing and running aspects of Arkansas’ offense. We saw what Hatcher and Cornelius could do when Arkansas played Nicholls State and I believe we see something similar, if not better, against Northern Illinois.

Bold prediction #3: Arkansas doesn’t fall victim to a “trap game” and wins by at least 28 points.

A sign of a good football team is the ability to take care of business in games like this one. Yes, NIU has had an impressive string of seasons and have already beaten a Power 5 conference opponent in Northwestern back in Week 2. But the discrepancy in talent between Arkansas and Northern Illinois gives the Hogs a distinct advantage in this contest.

Behind the strong persona of their head coach, Bielema unleashes another dominating and physical game against their opponent. As always the run game will continue to wear down NIU’s defense throughout the game, but a big passing attack will eventually help the Razorbacks pull away by the third quarter and beat the Huskies by multiple scores.

A strong win here and the Razorbacks look even more dangerous as a possible upset to the Texas A&M Aggies next week in Arlington, Texas.