The Matchup: Northern Illinois (3-0) at Arkansas (2-1)

The Venue: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium

The Kick: 7:00 p.m. ET


Series record: Arkansas leads the all-time series with a record of 1-0.

Last meeting: The Hogs defeated Northern Illinois back in 1994, thanks to a late fourth-quarter fumble by NIU. Arkansas’ current tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. quarterback the winning Razorbacks squad and scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run.

Coaches: Rod Carey (14-3), Bret Bielema (73-34)

Last game (Northern Illinois): The Huskies traveled to UNLV last week and put up over 600 yards of total offense and 48 points. They had a 23-point as late as the third quarter, but three unanswered touchdowns plus a two-point conversion by the Runnin’ Rebels tied the ball game at 34. NIU was able to score twice more in the game for their 12th consecutive road win.

Last game (Arkansas): In a must-win game, Arkansas played about as well as they could have imagined against Texas Tech. The offense was clicking all game, mainly due to the punishing run game from Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams. It was only a seven-point lead at half for the Hogs, but the physicality of the Razorbacks eventually wore down Texas Tech and they won 49-28.

Northern Illinois wins if: Quarterback Drew Hare has a great game. Hare provides both a passing and running threat for the Huskies, but their primary mode of attack is through the running game.  If Hare is able to expose weaknesses in the Arkansas secondary and NIU has a good running game as well, the Huskies could pull off the victory.

Arkansas wins if: They keep their mind right. The Hogs are in a tough situation currently coming off a huge program win against Texas Tech, but an even bigger matchup against Texas A&M in two weeks. As long as they don’t take Norther Illinois lightly and execute their gameplan, the talent and physicality of Arkansas should be too much for NIU.

What it means if Northern Illinois wins: NIU should be taken for real as one of the better mid-level schools. It would be the second Power 5 conference team the Huskies had defeated in the first four weeks of the season.

What it means if Arkansas wins: A good football team doesn’t let a game like this fool them. The Huskies are a respectable non-conference opponent, but if Arkansas plays like it should, the Hogs shouldn’t have a problem winning this game. Good football teams take care of business in these games. Let’s see if Arkansas has the ability to do just that.