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Mississippi State football vs. Arkansas preview: Everything you need for Bulldogs vs. Razorbacks

Hey look. The Mississippi State football season got real interesting all of a sudden and there’s a really good chance that it can get a lot more interesting if things go well this week. Mississippi State got a SOLID victory over the Texas A&M Aggies last week and now the Bulldogs get to host the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Mississippi State hasn’t ever really played a complete game so far this year.

The Bulldogs have had issues at times throughout this season. Last week’s dominant effort against the Aggies is as close as Mississippi State has been to playing without any sort of issue and there were still plenty of moments that were incredibly frustrating to watch.

Here’s to hoping that Mississippi State will improve upon how it played a week ago instead of doing the opposite. I, for one, would greatly appreciate seeing the Bulldogs play a game that isn’t riddled with errors or marred by missed extra point attempts. I’d like to see the Bulldogs come out and beat Arkansas with ease. We’ll see if that happens.

Here’s everything you need to get prepared to watch Mississippi State and Arkansas face off this week:

Table of contents:

Mississippi State football vs. Arkansas Razorbacks preview

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Mississippi State football: 3 Arkansas Razorbacks to watch

  • Raheim Sanders – With an injured quarterback who has been kinda limited in practice, I’m curious to see how things happen with Arkansas’ rushing attack. Raheim Sanders is someone to keep an eye on. 105 carries, 609 rushing yards, and 4 rushing touchdowns make him a threat.
  • AJ Green – With KJ Jefferson being dinged up, Arkansas is going to need someone to step up. AJ Green could help provide some boost in that regard. On the year, he has 28 carries, 117 yards, and 2 rushing touchdowns. I’m intrigued as to how much Arkansas will turn to him with Jefferson banged up and the offense potentially limited.
  • Jadon Haselwood – With whoever is playing at quarterback, they’re going to need a solid receiving threat. Jadon Haselwood could provide some of that. He has a team leading 24 receptions that has led to 251 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Mississippi State football vs. Arkansas Razorbacks: 3 storylines to watch

Storyline 1: What will Arkansas’ offense look like this week?

Well, KJ Jefferson is banged up. Kendal Briles’ offense revolves around utilizing Jefferson and his athleticism to cause problems for opposing defenses. That said, nothing official has been announced about Jefferson’s ability to play just yet.

So…

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What on earth is this offense going to look like?

If Jefferson is able to play, we’ve got a pretty good idea. At his best, Jefferson is a physically imposing runner who has shown to be a dangerous passer and can either push through defenders or pick apart defenses. If he’s healthy, Arkansas can score points and run folks over.

If he’s not healthy, then who really knows? It’ll be something worth watching out for.

Storyline 2: Can Mississippi State exploit Arkansas’ defensive weakness?

The Arkansas Razorbacks have, in recent seasons, found ways to frustrate folks thanks to a stout defense that caused problems for opposing offenses. Mike Leach is familiar with this. His Air Raid has had troubles with Arkansas at times over the past two seasons.

This year seems a little different and it’s kinda weird.

Arkansas is allowing 289.6 passing yards per game and 143.4 rushing yards per game. The Razorbacks haven’t been great on defense! You can expect the Bulldogs to go after Arkansas through the air quite a bit in this game. On the season, Mississippi State is averaging 346.6 passing yards per game (and 93.4 rushing yards per game). The Bulldogs have demonstrated the ability to move the ball pretty effectively.

Does that continue this week?

Storyline 3: How does Mississippi State respond to being ranked for the first time this year?

This is more of a concern with fans more than anything else, but sometimes perception and superstitions and irrational concerns matter. At least they might matter a little bit. And with Mississippi State being ranked for the first time this season, some folks (for one reason or another) are going to be concerned that the Bulldogs will let their ranking be the focus rather than this game.

Whether that’s right or wrong, it’s something that you’re going to see folks discuss online somewhere.

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I don’t buy this as being a huge storyline, but it could be interesting. Especially if the Bulldogs can get a nice win over Arkansas. If that happens, then things could be real fun this coming week.

Mississippi State football vs. Arkansas Razorbacks history

On the field, MSU has been pretty successful against the Arkansas Razorbacks over the past decade. The Bulldogs have won 7 of the past 10 matchups against Arkansas!

Not bad, right?

Well, let’s pause for a moment on that.

For much of that timeframe, Arkansas wasn’t much of a program to be feared. The beginning of that takes place as the Bobby Petrino era came to a disastrous end for the Razorbacks. Bret Bielema really couldn’t sustain success in Fayetteville. Chad Morris never had any fun with Arkansas.

And that leads us to our current predicament. Recent years.

Let’s go back to the Joe Moorhead era for a moment. The last 4 matchups are evenly split with Arkansas winning the last two contests. However. Moorhead and Mississippi State forfeit that 2018 contest because of some NCAA trouble.

And that’s not fun.

Mike Leach hasn’t been able to beat Sam Pittman. It’s just been miserable in this series over the past few seasons. And Mississippi State really needs to find a way to find some success against Arkansas this season. There’s a good chance that can happen, but nobody really wants to see this current trend continue.

Here’s to hoping for a win over the Razorbacks on Saturday.

Mississippi State vs. Arkansas Razorbacks: Bulldogs favored at home

The Bulldogs are heading into this home contest favored over their guest. Mississippi State opened up as a favorite in this contest and the Bulldogs are still favored. At the moment, MSU is favored by 9 points over the Razorbacks. The over/under is currently set at 57 points.

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As it turns out, SP+ happens to favor the Bulldogs here with this one. According to ESPN’s Bill Connelly’s impressive and mythical math computer fun, the Bulldogs have a pretty solid shot at winning this game. MSU has a 68% win probability, per Connelly’s math, and the computers are predicting State to win this contest by 8.2 points. Per those numbers, MSU wins by a rounded projected score of 33-25.

ESPN FPI currently gives the Bulldogs a REALLY good shot at winning this game. Right now, the Bulldogs have a 75.4% chance of winning.

Mississippi State football vs. Arkansas Razorbacks: TV channel, live stream, live stats, online coverage

If you can’t make it out to Starkville, then you’ll need to know how to watch the game. And we’ve got everything you could possibly need to keep up with this contest.

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Mississippi State vs. Arkansas Razorbacks game info:

  • Who: Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Arkansas Razorbacks
  • What: Game 6 of the 2022 MSU football season
  • When: Saturday, Oct. 8 at 11 a.m. CT
  • Where: Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field in Starkville, Mississippi

How to watch Mississippi State vs. Arkansas Razorbacks:

Mississippi State vs. Arkansas Razorbacks radio information:

Mississippi State vs. Arkansas online coverage and live stats:

Mississippi State football vs. Arkansas Razorbacks 2022 prediction

Mississippi State hasn’t had much success against Arkansas in recent years and I’m sure many other Bulldog fans are tired of seeing the Razorbacks come out on top of this annual contest. Mike Leach has STRUGGLED to really find much success against Arkansas and it sure would be nice to see things change this season.

Will that happen?

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Arkansas hasn’t really played as good as many expected them to at various times throughout this season and now they’re having to figure out how to win on the road while their starting quarterback is dinged up. Theoretically it’s possible that happens, but I’m not sold on Arkansas really having much success offensively if KJ Jefferson is injured and can’t play.

If he can play, then I guess we’ll see.

Right now, Bill Connelly expects the Bulldogs to be able to get a nice, solid win.

But 33 points seems like a lot given how State has struggled to score against Arkansas in recent matchups. And sure, I get Connelly’s math predictions think State will score in the 30’s in this game. I’m just not convinced given how State has played against Arkansas in the past. I sure hope I’m wrong about that (though I don’t want to be wrong about who I think wins this contest).

Prediction: Mississippi State 28, Arkansas 17

For more independent Mississippi State news and commentary, follow The Underdog Tribune on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Ethan Lee on Facebook and Twitter.

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