Hog time: Cold weather favors Arkansas' power rushing attack
The weather can be cold and raw with the wind howling. Throwing, catching and kicking become harder as the temperature drops.
A good rushing attack is particularly effective, according to Arkansas coach Bret Bielema.
Combined with colder temperatures, rain can make gripping the harder ball especially tough.
November is Hog time, the month of the year when Bret Bielema’s power running game at Arkansas is especially effective. Opponents that depend on a pass-oriented attack are at a disadvantage.
The power running game is a particular advantage in Fayetteville, one of the SEC’s coldest cities.
Last season, Arkansas teams went 2-2 in November, but the victories were over No. 8 Ole Miss and No. 20 LSU — both in Fayetteville. They lost road games, 17-10 at No. 1 Mississippi State and 21-14 at No. 17 Missouri, an SEC team also used to cold weather.
It was a strong finish for an Arkansas team that started the season 4-4, with three of the victories over Nicholls State, Northern Illinois and UAB and all four losses to top 10 SEC foes.
Running backs Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins combined for 2,290 yards and 24 TDs last season. This season, Collins has already rushed for 1,068 yards and 12 TDs.
Bielema utilized the power running game to take Wisconsin to three consecutive Rose Bowls before coming to Arkansas.
At 5-4, the Razorbacks need only one more victory to be bowl-eligible.
They’ll have an opportunity this month to beat two of the SEC’s best teams. After playing at No. 9 LSU, they play at home against No. 20 Mississippi State.
If they still need a victory to earn a bowl bid, the Hogs have a great opportunity against Missouri in their regular-season finale the day after Thanksgiving in Fayetteville.