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You Pick ‘Em: Arkansas-MSU

Content provided by The Slophouse.

FAYETTEVILLE - Next up for No. 13 Arkansas is a trip to No. 21 Mississippi State. The Razorbacks have had some of their best success against the Bulldogs in recent years, winning 10 of the last 11 meetings between the schools.

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Slophouse Pick (9-1)

On paper, this is the best match-up between these two schools in a long time. Both are ranked heading into the game for the first time since 1999 and it should be a game that lives up to its primetime billing.

The key will likely be if Arkansas can slow Mississippi State’s rushing game. The Bulldogs rank third in the SEC in rushing yards at 211.7 per game. At the same time, the Razorbacks are near the bottom of the league, allowing more than 150 rushing yards each contest.

Gone is Anthony Dixon, who had some great performances against Arkansas during his career, but Vick Ballard serves as a apt replacement. The Bulldogs running back is among the league leaders in rushing yards and creates a nice 1-2 punch with quarterback Chris Relf in the triple option attack. Razorbacks defensive coordinator Willy Robinson noted earlier in the week his unit is used to seeing the option as each of Arkansas’ last seven opponents have run some variation of it.

If the defense can slow the Bulldogs, the offense should be able to do its part. Arkansas is hot offensively, averaging 45.8 points in the last five games. Mississippi State does some unique things on the defense, but the Razorbacks seem to have a counter for each with its multitude of talented players on the other side of the ball. If Arkansas can continue to run the ball well it should slow a good pass rush and open some things up int he passing game. The Bulldogs and the cold might slow the Razorbacks a bit, but shouldn’t do too much to derail a team with its sights set on the BCS.

Arkansas 35, Mississippi State 21

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