We sent a few questions over to our friends and fellow SBNation bloggers Arkansas Expats. Here is what they had to say. They had a few questions for us as well.
1. Has the absence of Greg Childs had any effect on the offensive play of Arkansas?
It's hard to say how the Razorbacks would have done with Childs in the lineup the last couple of games, but so far the offense hasn't missed a beat. The emergence of Knile Davis has helped the running game immeasurably, and Cobi Hamilton, Jarius Wright and D.J. Williams and others have picked up the receiving slack.
However, it could also be argued that the Hogs have yet to face a true defensive test without Childs - neither South Carolina nor UTEP are known for their ability to shut down the passing game. You don't lose a player that good without any impact, and we'd guess that Ryan Mallett will wish he had #85 to throw to at least a couple of times this weekend in Starkville.
2. For anyone who may not have followed Arkansas closely this year, who are some star players on offense and defense (aside from Mallet, of course).
The Hogs have a deep roster of playmakers on offense - WR Joe Adams has been hobbled by an ankle injury since the Vanderbilt game, but is a threat to score anytime he touches the ball if healthy. As noted above, Hamilton, Wright and Williams are also excellent receivers, and Davis has developed into a very solid runner. RB Ronnie Wingo, Jr is more of a pass-catching threat, but has made several big plays this year.
The defense is much less star-studded, but has had its moments. Names to look for include DE Jake Bequette, LB Jerry Franklin, DE Tenarius Wright and S Tramain Thomas.
3. Bobby Petrino is in his third year as head coach in Fayetteville. Are Razorback fans generally happy with him?
Yes, definitely. We don't need to rehash the Houston Nutt saga yet again, but suffice it to say that most Razorback fans are enjoying Petrino's more buttoned-up and cerebral style after a 10 year roller coaster ride. The cupboard was left pretty bare when he arrived, but the team has improved notably in each of his three years and the program is in all-around much better shape. We're well aware of Petrino's less-than-sterling reputation for job hopping and aren't banking on him lasting as long as his predecessor, but so far, so good.
4. Who is a Mississippi State player you would like on your roster and why?
Given the relative strengths and weaknesses of each team, we'd have to look to the defense. Although the Razorbacks have improved over last year's porous D, they could certainly benefit from having a Bulldog or two join the squad...we'll go with Chris White and K.J. Wright, who were singled out for their ability by Petrino earlier this week.
5. What is your prediction for the game this Saturday?
This game has worried us all season - MSU is clearly a team on the rise under Dan Mullen, Starkville is never an easy place to play (one offensive Achilles heel is that the Razorbacks tend to get an unusually high amount of false start penalties...look for many, many cowbell-induced infractions this Saturday) and the Bulldogs seem to match up with the Hogs pretty well. Plus, we'd guess that MSU will be fired up to redeem themselves after their rough outing last week.
But, on the flip side the Hogs are playing really well right now. They've been flying a bit under the radar after dropping early games to Alabama and Auburn, but seem to be firing on all cylinders at just the right time. We expect a physical, hard-fought battle in which Malllett and company will make just enough plays to pull out a close, and relatively low-scoring, win.