STARKVILLE, Miss. — The 16th-ranked Mississippi State football team will battle it out with the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT inside Davis Wade Stadium.
The MSU defense will be tasked at stopping a Razorback offense that struggled against No. 4 Georgia last week in a 37-10 loss.
The Razorbacks had just 280 yards of total offense on 67 snaps for an average of 4.18 yards per play.
Quarterback Feleipe Franks, a three-year starter at Florida who transferred after last season, completed 19 of 36 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown but he also threw two interceptions. One of those interceptions resulted in a pick-six when Georgia junior defensive back Eric Stokes took the ball 30 yards to the end zone. Georgia’s defense also forced a Razorback safety in the game.
It was a tough day, but Franks was still better than recent Arkansas quarterbacks as the Razorbacks have started five players at the position in the last two years. In fact, no single Arkansas quarterback threw for that many yards against an Southeastern Conference opponent last year. The Mississippi State defense surrendered 345 yards passing and three scores to LSU redshirt junior quarterback Myles Brennan, so Franks will have a good opportunity to bounce back.
Sophomore wide receiver Treylon Burks comes into the game as the Razorbacks’ top receiver after finishing with 102 yards receiving and a touchdown on seven catches last week.
Star senior running back Rakeem Boyd, who earned Preseason All-SEC second-team honors, ran for just 21 yards on 11 carries in the game. And although MSU doesn’t have as dominant of an interior as Georgia, MSU defensive coordinator Zach Arnett runs all kinds of stunts and twists to confuse blocking schemes to try to create free rushers into the backfield. After all, MSU did hold LSU to just 80 yards rushing.
Though I think the Razorbacks have enough weapons to give the Bulldogs a run for their money, I think it’ll be a lot like last week for Arkansas and the Bulldogs will pull away in the second half.