This Saturday, Coach Bobby Petrino will face his former mentor, Mike Price, who is now the Head Coach of the Texas-El Paso Miners who the Hogs will face on Senior Night in Fayetteville.
Although Coach Bobby Petrino is known for throwing the ball, don’t be surprised to see Knile Davis with 200 yards on the ground. The Miners are allowing 163 yards on the ground and 210 through the air.
Two interesting stats for the Miners, in total offense they have only out gained opponents 373.4 to 373 yards per game. The Miners have been out scored 73-50 in the fourth quarter this year.
The Hogs head into this week’s game averaging 35.7 points per game and 482.4 yards per game. And with Ryan Mallett averaging 305.7 yards passing per game, you can certainly look for him to eclipse the 3000 yards passing mark, as he sits with 2,752 currently.
Many might wonder about the consistency of the Hogs defense, my suggestion is to look for this game to be well in hand quickly. UTEP has been able to move the ball effectively this season, but not against the likes of a solid SEC defense.
In my opinion, UTEP will struggle to move the ball on the ground against Arkansas’ defense, which ranks 26th in the nation. The Miners will in turn have trouble stopping the Hogs 10th ranked offense.
As far as UTEP’s running game, the Hogs ranked 68th nationally, have allowed 156.7 yards per game on the ground, that’s 8 yards more than UTEP’s season average gained, against lesser opponents.
Arkansas currently ranks 11th nationally in pass defense, giving up only 170.2 yards passing per game, which many fans might find shocking based on the Hogs defensive secondary in years past.
I see nothing to suggest that the Hogs will slow down the recent destruction of opponents. Many members of the media, as always, have chalked the Hogs 41-20 thrashing of South Carolina to the fact that South Carolina was looking ahead to the SEC East game with Florida. Surely the Arkansas Razorbacks couldn’t come out strong, punch a team in the chops and impose their will on a SEC team.
But if you look back over the past three weeks, you will see a Razorback team that has been building steam, the 38-24 win over Ole Miss, the 49-14 thumping on Vanderbilt and most recently the 41-20 whipping, which was far worse than the score indicated against the SEC East leading South Carolina Gamecocks, these games have shown the Hogs doing pretty much anything they wanted.
In last week’s game, the Hogs punted one time. ONE TIME against an SEC team. That punt came with :18 left in the game.
To all the national media members, say what you will, this Arkansas Razorbacks team is accustomed to the lack of respect. With a fan base as great as Hog Nation, the team doesn’t need your respect.
The month of November has generally been a time of discontent for Hog fans. Many remember the 2006 team that reeled off 10 wins before the LSU game, lost the next three and ended 10-4 after the Capital One bowl loss to Wisconsin.
This team has a different feel to them. This team has been consistent all year, the only losses were to teams ranked No. 1 at the time. And the Hogs very well could have won against both.
Speaking of No. 1, the No. 1 story in college football right now is the Cam Newton saga.
Did he or Didn’t he ?
If any decision is made during the season, it could very well affect the Hogs. How you might ask, simple, if Cam Newton is suspended or ruled ineligible by the NCAA, the Auburn Tigers will definitely take a hit in offensive production. An area that has allowed them to win. Newton easily accounts for 65 percent of the Tigers offense, and if that is taken away, a loss will certainly be looming. For the Hogs to reach a BCS bowl, ideally the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Arkansas needs Auburn to win out.
Arkansas obviously has no hand in this ordeal, all the Hogs can do is keep winning, the legal and NCAA recognized way.