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Arkansas-Mississippi State Predictions Contest
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas travels to Mississippi State on Saturday (11:21 a.m., SEC Network) needing a win to keep its postseason chances alive.
The Razorbacks (4-6, 2-4 SEC) are coming off a 38-20 loss at South Carolina last weekend, falling to 1-5 this season against teams with winning records. Arkansas' best win this season was over Tulsa by four points two weeks ago in Fayetteville.
The Bulldogs (7-3, 3-3) were ranked No. 12 in the BCS earlier this season, but have lost three straight games to Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU by a combined 76 points. Mississippi State is one of the most mysterious teams in the SEC, with its conference wins coming against teams with a combined 0-20 record in league play.
Arkansas has owned this series of late, winning three straight and 15 of the last 17. Since joining the SEC, the Razorbacks have lost only four times to the Bulldogs, with three losses suffered by a first-year or interim head coach.
YOU PICK: We want your prediction. Simply reply in the comments section with your score prediction. The winner will receive a T-shirt from Fayettechill.
As a tiebreaker, tell us how many receiving yards Cobi Hamilton will have.
Congratulations to Kelly Morris from Jonesboro for winning last week's contest.
Matt Jones, WholeHogSports.com
Because of the extreme bad against good teams and vice versa for Mississippi State, I picked an upset on the radio earlier this week. However, the more I think about it, the less likely that seems. After an uninspired performance against South Carolina, Arkansas looks the part of a team resigned to a losing season. Offensively, the Razorbacks make too many mistakes - such as untimely illegal formation penalties - commit too many turnovers and settle for too many field goals in the red zone. Defensively, Arkansas is young across the board because of injuries and suspensions, leaving it vulnerable against experienced quarterbacks. Despite its results against the best in the SEC West, Mississippi State has improved this season and has lost only to Texas A&M at home. The Razorbacks have the weapons to hang with the Bulldogs, but at no point other than the Kentucky game have they shown they know how to use them. With a loss, Arkansas' only postseason stop will be to pick up its new coach for a flight to the Ozarks.
Mississippi State 35, Arkansas 24
Brandon Marcello, Jackson Clarion-Ledger
Mississippi State's passing attack has been its strength, even when the running game has been at its best. Arkansas' pass defense has been atrocious, ranking 114th nationally. MSU will get after Tyler Wilson on defense and the offense will throw the ball around quite a bit, but the key will be the Bulldogs' defense in what will likely be an offensive shootout at Davis Wade Stadium. MSU forces a couple of crucial punts, wins the turnover battle (Arkansas ranks 115th in turnover margin) and pulls off a victory to end a three-game losing streak.
Mississippi State 34, Arkansas 24
Ron Higgins, Memphis Commercial-Appeal
The receiver/defensive back matchup between Hamilton and Banks alone is worth the price of admission.
Mississippi State 24, Arkansas 20
Bo Mattingly, Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly
The national analysts on our show last week said of the three remaining games, the State game would be Arkansas' best chance to win. State's passing offense will be trouble, but the Hogs will fix mistakes on offense and play well enough to win.
Arkansas 27, Mississippi State 24
Clay Henry, Hawgs Illustrated
Clearly, Mississippi State has improved. But the Bulldogs might be hanging their heads after finding out they are still not in the SEC West's top group. Arkansas has as much talent as the home team, but it hasn't shown that it can play clean enough football to win on the road. Plus, there are just too many youngsters playing on defense.
Mississippi State 24, Arkansas 23
Aaron Peters, KNWA/KARK Razorback Nation
Only the rules of mathematics have the words "bowl game" still attached to this Razorback football season. The Hogs just simply have not shown me anything to make me believe they can win on the road against a much improved Mississippi State team. I'm betting the Hogs go down in Stark-Vegas.
Mississippi State 31, Arkansas 21
Richard Davenport, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Mississippi State is on a three-game skid. No Arkansas player has lost to the Bulldogs and that will hold true on Saturday.
Arkansas 27, Mississippi State 24