HawgBeat Staff Predictions: Arkansas vs Ole Miss
The Arkansas Razorbacks and No. 14 Ole Miss Rebels will face off at 6:30 p.m. CT Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The Razorbacks lead the Rebels in the all-time series 37-28-1. Under head coach Sam Pittman, the Hogs are 1-1 against Ole Miss. Last season's game was a shootout that resulted in a 52-51 victory for the Rebels.
The Rebels are a -2.5 point favorite over the Hogs (BetSaracen).
Here is how the HawgBeat staff thinks the game will go Saturday:
Mason Choate - Managing Editor
My mind keeps taking me back to Nov. 22, 2014, when a 5-5 Arkansas team took down an 8-2 and 8th-ranked Ole Miss team 30-0 in Fayetteville.
The Rebels are coming off an emotional 30-24 loss to Alabama and Arkansas just played its game of the year defensively.
All week I've been telling people that Ole Miss is going to win this one. If the Hogs get KJ Jefferson back, like I expect them to, I think they will thrive off having their leader at the helm of the offense.
Ole Miss has the edge in most of the important statistical categories, but Arkansas has the edge in the "must-win" category. The Razorbacks likely understand that they need a win this weekend to get bowl eligible, because they don't have a great history of winning in Columbia, Missouri.
Arkansas 21, Ole Miss 20
Robert Stewart - Staff Writer
The SEC leading rusher is going to play in Fayetteville this weekend, and his name is not Rocket Sanders. With Quinshon Judkins leading the three-headed monster of an Ole Miss rushing attack, the Razorbacks will surely have a tough time stopping the run.
On the other side, it’s no secret Sanders has been quiet as of late. He’s due for a big showing, especially having surrendered the rushing crown to Judkins. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the teams accumulate 500 combined yards on the ground.
This rivalry tends to generate high-scoring games every year, and if KJ Jefferson is healthy, the Hogs should be able to compete in this year’s iteration. While I expect a much better offensive effort than we’ve seen in the past two weeks, it will not be enough to top No. 14. Bowl eligibility will have to wait another week.
Ole Miss 35, Arkansas 31
Daniel Fair - Staff Writer
It’s been nearly two months since the lights at Razorback Stadium have been in use, with the Hogs playing their last night game against Missouri State. The Hogs are still fighting for bowl eligibility at 5-5, and they welcome an Ole Miss team coming off a close loss against Alabama a week ago.
With KJ Jefferson likely to return, Pittman said earlier this week he felt the team was as healthy as they could possibly be this late into the season. My main question mark lies with the offense. They’ve underperformed for the last two weeks, but with Jefferson back, I expect things to look more in sync than they have in weeks past.
Ole Miss has a high powered offense, so the defense will have their hands full, but I think the Hogs pull away late in a thriller on senior night.
Arkansas 42, Ole Miss 38
Jackson Collier - Basketball Recruiting Analyst
Arkansas fought hard with second and third string quarterbacks in the cold weather, but ultimately came up short against LSU in a 13-10 loss. It is likely the outcome is different with a healthy KJ Jefferson, but you know what they say about "ifs".
It seems like KJ is good to go this weekend against his home-state school. Last year, Jefferson had the game of his life, but ultimately came up just short on a two-point conversion attempt.
I fully expect the offense to get back on track this week with a healthy Jefferson, but the big concern is whether the defense can build off its success the past two weeks and slow down the Ole Miss offense.
The Rebels boast a strong run-game with a dual-threat quarterback in Jaxson Dart and a stud freshman halfback in Quishon Judkins. Dart has also shown he can stretch the field, as well.
While the Arkansas defense has improved, I fear they will struggle against a team with a strong, balanced offense. If they can generate a couple turnovers, Arkansas should win the game, but that is much easier said than done. I just don't quite think the defense has enough talent to stop this offense. It will be another shootout.
Ole Miss 45, Arkansas 40
Kevin Bohannon - Baseball Recruiting Analyst
The Arkansas defense has played well the last two games allowing only one touchdown in the last four quarters. If not for that unit, the Hogs would’ve been blown out the last two weeks.
If KJ Jefferson is back healthy and able to put up numbers like he did at BYU, the Hogs have a chance. A lot is going on in Oxford right now with Kiffin presumably being the top target for Auburn and the Rebels are coming off an emotional loss to Alabama. It’s Senior Night on the hill and you have to think this is a better performance than Homecoming a few weeks ago.
Ole Miss has a promising young running back in Quinshon Judkins that has garnered more attention lately than Rocket Sanders, and Sanders should take that personally and want to get back on track with a big game.
As always, anything can happen in this game. We’ve seen 7 OTs, the Henry Heave, high scoring shootouts and other crazy stuff like a walk-on getting three picks in one game. Frigid temps slow the Rebs just enough and the Hogs play well with their backs against the wall to get bowl eligible.
Arkansas 30, Ole Miss 27
Mason: 8-2, 6-4 ATS
Robert: 8-2, 5-5 ATS
Daniel: 7-3, 7-3 ATS
Jackson: 7-3, 6-4 ATS
Kevin: 5-1, 4-2 ATS