Things could’ve gone better for both the Arkansas Razorbacks and Ole Miss Rebels last week. The Razorbacks and Rebels were both drubbed by the top two teams in the land: the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide. Now this week, Arkansas and Ole Miss are out to reset themselves. The problem is... well, they have to do that against each other. One of these teams is about to be on a losing streak. The other is hoping for more promise.
How to watch Arkansas vs. Ole Miss
Time: Noon ET
Watch Online: ESPN App
(via DraftKings Sportsbook)
Spread: Ole Miss -5.5 | Arkansas +5.5
Moneyline: Arkansas +165 | Ole Miss -195
The Razorbacks and Rebels have both gotten off to solid starts. The Hogs beat A&M for the first time since 2011, while the Rebs have been putting up points in bunches. They’ve both looked the part of two teams seeking and hopefully gaining improvements upon their work from a year ago.
Arkansas seems a bit further along when taking everything into account. Ole Miss’ defense has still been troubling at times. But their offense, obviously, has been a triumph. They rank second in the SEC and fifth in the country in PPG (44.8) and also have averaged 7.0 yards per play.
The Razorbacks will be tested against this Rebel offense. Both on defense and in terms of keeping up on the track. As they are a run-heavy team - 43 attempts per game vs. 20 pass attempts per game — their best method to paving a way to victory is to slow the game down. The Razorbacks will definitely want to play ball control and keep Ole Miss’ explosive offense off the field as much as possible.
Ole Miss has to exploit the weaknesses and hope Arkansas doesn’t just manhandle them. One weakness they face? They’re giving up over 154 yards per game on the ground. Now, that’s not Mizzou bad, as that mark is actually double that. But it’s not good either, considering it’s the second-worst mark in the conference. That screams out to be a bit of a matchup nightmare for the Rebels defense that could spell trouble.
It’s most likely worth noting as well that Arkansas has the second-best pass defense in the country. They only trail Georgia, as they’ve allowed just 129.8 yards per game through the air this year. This is the best offense they’ve faced thus far for sure. But so far, they’ve stepped up to the challenge and have met it.
Basically, this game boils down to two questions. Can Arkansas keep Ole Miss’ dangerous offense off the field? And is their pass defense a mirage? We know what we’re getting out of the Rebels. They will want to put the ball in the air and pass the ball dozens and dozens of times. Their defense has been a sieve and could fall victim yet again here if they aren’t careful. Arkansas is slightly more mysterious, just because they haven’t faced a high-octane offense like this yet. This one will be interesting.