Mississippi State football vs. Arkansas Preview

You know what time it is Mississippi State football fans. Grab your cowbells because its hog cooking time!

The No. 16 Mississippi State Bulldogs welcome their divisional rival Arkansas Razorbacks to Starkville on Oct. 3. According to ESPN, Mississippi State comes into the matchup with a 74.9% probability to win with a -18 spread. The game will be televised on SECN ALT at 7:30 p.m. ET.

It will be a beautiful day for football with a forecast of mostly sunny skies with a high of 72°, according to AccuWeather.

Due to Mississippi State football only allowing approximately 25% capacity, only around 15,300 fans are expected to be in attendance, and facial coverings are required in certain areas of the stadium. The state of Mississippi came out with new College and University stadium operational guidelines on Sept. 30, which you can find outlined here.


The Bulldogs come into Week 2 with possibly more momentum than any other SEC team.

After upsetting the defending national champion LSU Tigers 44-33 on their home turf, the previously unranked Bulldogs jumped to No. 16 in the AP Top 25 rankings this week. Mississippi State is the lone newcomer and had the biggest jump out of anyone in the rankings.

Bulldogs quarterback K.J. Costello had a record-setting performance against LSU. In the first game under the air raid offense of head coach Mike Leach, Costello broke the SEC single-game passing record throwing for 623 yards.

Mississippi State appears to be more than equipped for a pass-heavy focus. Four Bulldogs caught at least six passes in the game and hauled in a total of five touchdowns. Senior receiver Osirus Mitchell led the group with seven receptions for 183 yards and two touchdowns.

On the flipside, Arkansas is coming off its 20th straight SEC loss after falling to the No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs 37-10.

Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks, the former Florida Gator, struggled to do pretty much anything against an incredibly talented Georgia defense. In his debut for the Hogs, Franks threw for 211 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. In total, the Arkansas offense only gained 280 total yards.

The series between the two teams has been the exact opposite of back and forth. Mississippi State has won seven out of the last eight games against the Razorbacks, but Arkansas had won the previous 12 out of 13 games in the series.

The Razorbacks may be a tough matchup for Mississippi State football as they run a scheme more equipped to handle the air raid offense. In his first game with Arkansas, new head coach Sam Pittman ran a 3-2-6 defensive formation. The scheme seemed to work in the first half as the Arkansas defense held the Georgia offense to just three points in the first half.

“They’re a pretty tenacious group,” Leach said. “They moved around well, I thought they were aggressive. They flat-out took a half away from Georgia.”

Offensive inefficiency is what costs the Razorbacks as their stellar defensive performance could only hold up for two quarters against Georgia.

Arkansas is currently the black sheep of the SEC. In a conference touted for their future NFL stars and first-rate coaching staffs, Arkansas can’t seem to figure it out.


It is going to be near impossible for Costello and the Bulldogs to top their performance last week but against Arkansas, they won’t have to.

Even with the limited amount of fans in attendance, Davis Wade Stadium will be bumping with all the momentum spilling over from last week. The fans are going to be loud and into the game. In fact, the home crowd will play a larger role in this game than the quiet LSU crowd did.

If records were broken against Ed Orgeron’s LSU defense, things could get ugly very quickly for Arkansas and they will. Mississippi State’s offense started slow and had some communication issues early on, but after halftime, it was a well-oiled machine.

Costello is going to start hot this time around and put the Bulldogs up big early. Franks is a talented quarterback in his own right, and he will make plays early in the first half to keep the game close. Mississippi State’s offense is too hot though and Arkansas just won’t be able to keep pace with Leach’s air raid attack.

FINAL SCORE: Mississippi State 48, Arkansas 21

Photo courtesy of MSU Athletic Communications

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