When Arkansas Runs
The Razorbacks still only have the 89th rushing offense in the nation, but based on their improvement in that area over the last three games, that ranking is really not representative of the way Kniles Davis and company are running the ball today. Over the last two weeks, the Hogs have averaged 7.3 yards per carry against the then 23rd ranked Mississippi run defense, 4.9 yards against the then #15 run defense of Auburn. This weekend, facing Vanderbilt’s 92nd ranked rushing defense should mean that the surging Razorback running game should continue its recent breakout. Look for Davis to go over 100 yards for the second straight week in this one.
When Arkansas Throws
This is where the Hogs always cash in, and this week will be no different. Arkansas still ranks 2nd nationally, throwing for 352 yards per game this season, and the Commodores have been no more than average against opposing passers, allowing a 58th best 211 yards passing per game so far. Over the past two weeks Vandy has faced Georgia’s #31 passing offense and Georgia’s #55 aerial attack. In those games, the Commodores have allowed nearly 100 yards more than their opponents season average, 355 yards and 315 yards, respectively. The Razorbacks, even with Childs and Adams potentially sidelined with injury, should have no problem putting up their average at home against Vanderbilt.
When Vanderbilt Runs
The Commodores running game ranks a decent 68th nationally, totaling 146 yards per game on the ground so far this season. To date, the Razorbacks have allowed 170 yards rushing per game to their opponents, good for 86th nationally. However, the Hogs just faced Ole Miss’ #20 rushing attack and held it to about 30 yards less than its average rushing yards per game, and a half yard less than its normal average yards per carry. Starting DT Dequinta Jones will likely be suspended for the game, but the Razorbacks should still at least be able to neutralize the strength of the Vandy offense here.
When Vanderbilt Throws
Vanderbilt’s passing offense is putrid, ranking 105th nationally, out of 120 teams. There’s no reason at all to doubt that the #26 Arkansas pass defense will be able to completely hold the Commodores in check through the air. Vandy averages just 160 yards passing per game, and I would be surprised if Arkansas allows even 150.
Well, most important of all is the home field advantage that the Razorbacks will own in this game. Additionally, Vandy has lost three of four by at least 14 (but by 43 to a Georgia team the Hogs beat), with the lone win coming against an Eastern Michigan team that is winless since he beginning of last season. The Hogs may be without their two best receivers and one of their best defensive linemen, but depth at those positions should allow the Hogs to -for the most part – conduct their business as usual.
Vanderbilt really doesn’t have a leg to stand on in this game. The Hogs are the better team on offense and defense, and the game is in Fayetteville. The Commodores may be able to find a reasonable amount of success on offense running the ball, but their futile passing attack should make them far too one dimensional to really threaten the Hogs. Even without Childs, Adams, and Jones the Hogs will win comfortably, but if the receivers are able to play feel free to add an additional 10 points for the Hogs.
Arkansas 35 – 17
– Warzecha –