Week 11 - Arkansas at Ole Miss

Posted Nov 8, 2013

Week 11 Fearless Predictions & Preview - Arkansas at Ole Miss

Arkansas (3-6) at Ole Miss (5-3) Nov. 9 12:21, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: It's been a rough stretch for Mr. Bielema and his Hogs. It's not like the talent level fell that far off the map after Bobby Petrino was booted, and while John L. Smith was obviously ill-equipped for a major head coaching job, Bielema was supposed to come in from Wisconsin and do some decent things early on. Instead, the offense has gone into the tank, scoring just 34 points over the last four games, and the team has lost its mojo on a six game losing streak. To be fair, there hasn't been a lightweight on the lot since gagging to Rutgers, losing to Texas A&M, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama and Auburn, but it would be nice to pull off something positive with a road game at LSU still to deal with and Mississippi State up next week.

This is gravy time for an Ole Miss team that shocked LSU a few weeks ago and coasted past Idaho before getting a nice two-week break. Now it's time to fight for a nice bowl bid with Troy and Mississippi State still to play along with a showdown at Missouri. This has already been a successful season for Hugh Freeze, but a loss to Arkansas at home would be tremendously disappointing and a big momentum killer. The Rebels are playing too well to slip up more than once – likely to Missouri – the rest of the way, but a 9-3 regular season is still possible, continuing with a win over fourth win over the Hogs in the last six years.

Why Arkansas Might Win: Even with the time off, there's still the question mark about the health of the rebel defensive front seven. The Arkansas passing game needs all of the help it can get, and giving the offense time to operate is a must. The running game hasn't had much luck against the big-time defenses – Florida and Alabama – but it should be able to get to 200 yards on a Rebel D that's fine, but it's not a brick wall. The Hogs might be able to control the game at times.

Why Ole Miss Might Win: There used to be a time when Ryan Mallett and Tyler Wilson were winging the ball all over the yard for a high-octane Arkansas offense. Those days are long gone as the Hogs are dead last in the SEC in passing. The running game has been able to pick up some of the slack, but for the most part the offense has sputtered and coughed as it tries to find something that consistently works. Worst of all, lately, Arkansas can't stop giving the ball away. Bret Bielema's clubs make a virtue out of turnover margin, but Arkansas is -2 or worse so far in every game of SEC play.

Who To Watch Out For: After getting, essentially, time off to face Idaho and followed up by a two week break, Ole Miss might finally be getting healthy again. This is still a team full a many, many injuries, but some key parts should be fine. Running back Jeff Scott appears to be ready to be Jeff Scott again after getting through his thigh injury. Denzel Nkemdiche is still hurting with an ankle problem, but Robert's hamstring is getting better.

What Will Happen: Is this the week Arkansas finally starts to find something that works? Ole Miss should be solid after the time off, and if there's any pressure whatsoever from the still-banged up defensive front, this could be another long day for the Hog passing game.

Prediction: Ole Miss 31 … Arkansas 17
Line: Ole Miss -16 o/u: 53.5
Must See Rating: (5 The Wolf of Wall Street – 1 Ass Backwards) … 3
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