Mississippi State (3-3, 0-3 SEC) at Arkansas (2-5, 0-4), Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Line: Arkansas by 6 according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Arkansas leads 18-14-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Arkansas and Mississippi State are both looking for their first Southeastern Conference win of the year. The Razorbacks are coming off a four-game stretch away from home in which they lost all four SEC opponents, all of them ranked in the Top 25. Arkansas can only suffer one more loss and still have a shot at becoming bowl-eligible. Mississippi State was predicted to finish last in the SEC West. Things were expected to be difficult after coach Mike Leach’s death in December.
Arkansas’ offensive line has taken a step back this year. The Razorbacks were seventh in FBS in yards rushing per game last year, but 117th in 2023. They’re also 116th out of 133 FBS teams in sacks allowed, having given up 27 in seven games. Mississippi State hasn’t been exceptional stopping the run (59th) or getting sacks (50th), but just good enough that success there could be enough to give the Bulldogs a real edge on the road.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Mississippi State: Will Rogers or Mike Wright. It was unclear at midweek which quarterback will start. Rogers has dealt with shoulder injury the last two weeks. Wright, a transfer from Vanderbilt, has previous SEC starting experience, but brings a different element. If Rogers gets the nod, expect more passing. If it’s Wright, the run game will be a bigger play.
Arkansas: Running backs AJ Green and Rashod Dubinion. Raheim Sanders has played in just two games because of a nagging knee injury and will miss Saturday. Green is Arkansas’ leading rusher on the season despite only 38 carries. Dubinion’s 65 attempts lead the running backs.
FACTS & FIGURES
Arkansas defensive end Landon Jackson had the best day by an Arkansas lineman in 10 years last week. He was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week after registering 11 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks against Alabama. … Mississippi State hasn’t been afraid of Fayetteville in recent years. Arkansas has just one win in Fayetteville against the Bulldogs since 2006. … As tough as things have been for the Arkansas offense, the defense is ranked higher (50th) in total defense than it has been since 2014 when the Hogs were No. 10.