Arkansas Needs Strong Final Month to Season

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FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas entered its much needed bye week with a 5-3 record.

That leaves four games to play in November. They need to win one of the four to get to a bowl game, but obviously the more wins they get the better the bowl game should be. The Hogs last played in a bowl game on Dec. 29, 2016, against Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl. They were slated to go to the Texas Bowl last season, but TCU had to cancel because of COVID issues.

Of the remaining games, two will be in Reynolds Razorback Stadium and the other pair will be on the road. All the remaining games will be tough with at Alabama obviously the hardest one to win. The other three games, to be honest, could go either way. The Razorbacks could win all three or lose each of them. I don’t think Arkansas loses all three of them. I think they have a better chance of winning all three than losing each of them. But they need to get at least one win from the group.

Arkansas won three SEC games last season and that number this season would guarantee them an 8-4 overall record in Sam Pittman’s second season here. Eight wins in a season would be incredible considering they won that amount in 2017-19 combined.

Here’s a look at the four remaining games on the Arkansas schedule.

Nov. 6, Mississippi State (4-3, 2-2), 3 p.m., SEC Network

Arkansas provided Pittman with his first SEC win last season with a 21-14 victory in Week 2 in Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville. Feleipe Franks completed 20 of 28 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Wide receiver De’Vion Warren added four catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. The Hogs win the game despite having only 275 yards of total offense to 400 for the Bulldogs. The Razorbacks picked off three K.J. Costello passes. Mississippi State will host a talented Kentucky team on Saturday while the Hogs are resting.

Nov. 13, At LSU (4-4, 2-3), TBA

LSU came into Fayetteville last season and played a Razorback team with a depleted defensive line due to COVID and escaped with a 27-24 win. The Hogs took a 21-20 lead into the fourth quarter. They upped that to 24-20 on a 22-yard field goal by AJ Reed. But the Tigers struck late on a 13-yard touchdown pass from TJ Finley to Jaray Jenkins to get the victory. Franks was outstanding in the game. He rushed 14 times for 43 yards and a touchdown. He also completed 17 of 26 passes for 339 yards with a touchdown and one interception. Treylon Burks caught five passes for 90 yards and a touchdown while Mike Woods added four receptions for 140 yards. LSU, like Arkansas, is off this week, but then will travel to Alabama the weekend before the Hogs head to Baton Rouge.

Nov. 20, At Alabama (7-1, 4-1), TBA

The last time Arkansas beat Alabama Houston Nutt was the head coach, Gus Malzahn the offensive coordinator and Mitch Mustain the quarterback. Yes, it has been that long. The Tide rolled into Fayetteville and took a 52-3 victory last season. Trelon Smith rushed 19 times for 69 yards and caught a pass for 24 more yards. Alabama is off this week, then will host LSU and then host New Mexico State before facing the Razorbacks.

Nov. 26, Missouri (3-4, 0-3), 2:30 p.m., CBS

Missouri is struggling this season. They defeated the Hogs 50-48 last season in a thriller in Columbia. Arkansas’ last win in this series was on Nov. 27, 2015, when they took a 28-3 victory in a rainy, cold Reynolds Razorback Stadium. In the game last season, KJ Jefferson, filling in for the injured Franks, completed 18 of 33 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed 13 times for 32 yards and a touchdown. Smith rushed 26 times for 172 yards and three touchdowns. Burks caught 10 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown. Missouri will be at Vanderbilt this Saturday looking to get its first SEC win. Then they will travel to Georgia and then host South Carolina and Florida before finishing up at Arkansas.

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