One of the better matchups on the NCAAF Saturday slate is the week 6 Arkansas at Mississippi matchup. Both the #16 Razorbacks and the #17 Rebels got absolutely pummeled last week but for good reason, they were each playing two of the top teams in the nation in Alabama and Georgia.
Throwing out last week’s results, both teams were hot with Arkansas winning four straight to start the year and Ole Miss beginning 2021 3-0. Saturday afternoon’s game (12:00 PM ET, ESPN) has the Rebels a -5 point favorite even though the ‘Hogs notched a 33-21 win last year in Fayetteville as just -1 point favorites. Early numbers show a slight 58% of the public liking the offensive potential of Ole Miss – as well as the fact they are at home.
Hogs Have Been Here Before
Another week, another ranked opponent for Arkansas but so goes life in the SEC. The ‘Hogs dropped a bit after their 37-0 beatdown at the hands of Georgia last week even though they were +16.5 underdogs, falling from #8 to #16. Sam Pittman’s team still has a pretty solid resume though with wins over at-the-time #15 Texas and #7 Texas A&M.
It’s hard to blame Arkansas too much for last week’s loss considering Georgia is ranked #2 in the nation and has the country’s best defense through five weeks. Instead let’s focus on the Razorbacks 40-21 win over Texas earlier in the year when they ran for 333 yards as +5.5 point underdogs. Or how about handing Texas A&M their first loss of the year 20-10 while amassing 202 yards on the ground?
Trelon Smith and QB KJ Jefferson team up for a very formidable Arkansas backfield, combining for 537 yards and 5 TDs this season. This is a great matchup for the ‘Hogs as Ole Miss has the worst rush defense in the SEC giving up 206.9 ypg on the ground. Jefferson and the Arkansas offense also throw for 240.2 per game so they are not one dimensional.
Ole Miss Offense the Decider?
The week 6 Arkansas at Mississippi game really comes down to how much resistance the Razorbacks provide on the defensive side of the football. Alabama held the Rebels to 78 yards rushing and 213 through the air but that’s Alabama. Arkansas is the 4th worst total defense in the SEC, with most of their struggles coming against the run giving up over 190 yards/game on the ground.
The Rebels got their ground game going against Arkansas last year as Jerrion Ealy’s 112 yards were part of a 242 yard rushing day for Mississippi. Ole Miss still lost 33-21 though mainly due to 6 INTs from Matt Corral as well as a lost fumble and two goalline stands from the Hogs.
Treylon Burks had 11 catches for 137 yards for Arkansas against Ole Miss last year, so there’s a lot of strategy adjustment for the Rebels to do this season. Burks had 127 and 167 yards receiving in the two games prior to being shut down by Georgia last week (3 catches, 10 yards) so Mississippi isn’t the only explosive offense on the field Saturday.
Free Week 6 Arkansas at Mississippi Pick
Waiting for Arkansas to slip up has been costly this year as they’ve taken down Texas and Texas A&M as underdogs already this season. For that reason alone you take the Razorbacks, let alone for the fact they were completely in Corral’s head in last year’s meeting while at the same time Ole Miss had no answer for Burks.
Arkansas 37 – Ole Miss 34
Free Pick: Arkansas +5