Mississippi State vs. Arkansas is a battle of 2 teams trending in opposite directions. The Bulldogs are hot right now, while the Razorbacks have lost 2 in a row. Can the Hogs bounce back against the Bulldogs Saturday?

Mississippi State vs. Arkansas preview

Here we go – a good ol’ fashioned SEC West showdown that will have major implications across the SEC. The Bulldogs are one of the hottest teams in the conference right now, having just dispatched Texas A&M to earn a No. 23 ranking in the latest AP Poll.

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And a big reason for that jump has been Will Rogers’ expertise in executing Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense. Rogers has proven to be one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC this season, throwing for 1,715 yards through the air, the third most of any FBS QB. He also is tied for the most passing touchdowns in the nation with 19, throwing just 3 interceptions in the process.

The quarterback battle will decide this one, and it’s not looking good for Arkansas right now. KJ Jefferson is listed as day-to-day, per head coach Sam Pittman.

“Air Raid” is by nature slightly one-dimensional. Don’t get us wrong, Dillon Johnson is a strong running back with 302 yards and a touchdown under his belt, but he can’t compare to Arkansas’ Rocket Sanders, who is putting up a strong sophomore season. He has twice as many carries as Johnson and, proportionally, twice as many rushing yards. Sanders also has 4 touchdowns for the Razorbacks this season.

Defensively, Mississippi State has played just above the national average. The Bulldogs rank 46th in that nation in total defense (rushing + passing yards). Arkansas ranks No. 110 against tough opponents such as Alabama and Cincinnati, among others.

Mississippi State vs. Arkansas prediction

Mississippi State is surging while Arkansas is sulking. To boot, the game is to be played in Starkville with the cowbells a clangin’.

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That’s a tough ask for Sam Pittman’s crew after a backbreaking loss at Alabama. The Razorbacks potentially being without KJ Jefferson just accelerates the argument: Mississippi State should get the job done this time around. If Not, the Razorbacks deserve just a little more respect.

Prediction: Mississippi State 41, Arkansas 28