Arkansas has been impressive through two games and is top of the SEC West standings thanks to their 44-30 win over South Carolina last time out.
By Steve Wright
Here are three keys for the Hogs to keep things going in the right direction:
Ignore the Bobby Petrino Factor
It has been 10 years since the accident that led to the eventual departure of Bobby Petrino from Arkansas. Love him or hate him, there is no doubt that Petrino – the coach who almost had Arkansas playing for a national title in 2011 – is an outstanding football coach.
He has proven that again at Missouri State, taking a team doing nothing in the FCS and turning them into legitimate title contenders. None of the players around the program will have been around when Petrino was there, but they must avoid getting caught in the hype of his return to Fayetteville and treat this as just another game.
Lean on the Run
KJ Jefferson can do a little bit of everything from quarterback, but this is the type of game where keeping it simple is the most effective way to win. Petrino is a coach that loves to scheme the first drive of a game, often resulting in points. You don’t want to give Missouri State a theoretical two-score lead with a mistake through the air.
The Hog’s offensive line will be too big and too strong for their FCS foes. Add in the speed of running backs like Raheim Sanders, and keeping the offensive scheme simple is the way to go in this one.
Cut Down the Penalties
Penalties have been an issue for several SEC teams early in the season, and the Razorbacks are no exception. They were penalized 10 times for 122 yards against South Carolina, keeping the Gamecocks in the game with drive-extending penalties on defense on numerous occasions. Three defensive personal fouls for illegal hands to the face is almost inexcusable. Don’t give the Bears a sniff by allowing them to stay in the game through ill discipline.