Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a past president and member of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Like It Is:
Pick-6 season puts Arkansas in Memphis
Arkansas sophomore running back Alex Collins carries the ball during practice Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
After watching two practices, it seems apparent the Arkansas Razorbacks will be better, but they have a schedule that includes 10 teams that were in bowls games last year, including the season opener with Auburn, a BCS Championship game participant.
Here is a game-by-game prediction on how this season will turn out and, no, there were no rose-colored glasses involved.
AUBURN 27, ARKANSAS 21
The Tigers jump out to a 14-0 lead after quarterback Nick Marshall sits out two series. The Razorbacks come out in the second half and establish their ground game, and that allows quarterback Brandon Allen some breathing room, but the Hogs run out of time.
ARKANSAS 49, NICHOLLS STATE 7
This one is never close as the Razorbacks dominate every facet of the game, including the postgame news conference.
TEXAS TECH 35, ARKANSAS 27
The Red Raiders will be undefeated when the Hogs head to Lubbock for the first time since 1991. The Raiders' high-octane offense is held to 101 yards in the second half, and the Razorbacks score on a 71-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Allen to Jojo Robinson, a 51-yarder to Jared Cornelius and a 28-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Henry.
ARKANSAS 38, N. ILLINOIS 24
Expect this one to be close for the first half because the Huskies have some talented skill players. The Hogs take advantage of their lack of experience on defense to score 21 points in the second half.
ARKANSAS 31, TEXAS A&M 21
The Aggies have to replace six offensive starters, including the most dynamic player in college football last year, quarterback Johnny Manziel. Their defense was bad last year, and it might not be considered good news that it returns eight starters.
ALABAMA 35, ARKANSAS 17
Expect the Crimson Tide to be undefeated and a solid No. 2 in the polls when they roll into Fayetteville. The Hogs haven't scored on the Tide the past two years, losing 52-0 each time. The Razorbacks aren't ready to compete for the SEC West title yet, but they show improvement.
GEORGIA 27, ARKANSAS 24
A 6-0 Bulldogs team is getting some national attention when it comes to The Rock, and the game is tied 24-24 with 7:22 to play. But Georgia drives to the Arkansas 19, kicks a 36-yard field goal and then holds off the Hogs to escape.
ARKANSAS 56, ALA.-BIRMINGHAM 13
The only bragging rights the Blazers have is they have not been shut out in their past 33 games or since their opener in 2011.
MISS. STATE 30, ARKANSAS 24 (OT)
A battle rages and cow bells ring as the Bulldogs get bowl eligible with a 17-yard touchdown pass in the second overtime.
ARKANSAS 28, LSU 27
The Tigers arrive in Fayetteville struggling on offense and fall behind 21-3 before unleashing a second-half rally. LSU runs out of time because it can't establish a passing game. The Hogs grind out 363 rushing yards, including a 71-yard touchdown run by Korliss Marshall.
ARKANSAS 31, OLE MISS 28
The favored Rebels are 8-2 when they get to Fayetteville and lead 28-10 at the half, but the Hogs make defensive adjustments and Brandon Allen passes for 202 second-half yards and three touchdowns for the upset.
MISSOURI 31, ARKANSAS 28
The Tigers are trying to make it to a better bowl but trail by seven entering the fourth quarter. The Tigers score on a 68-yard punt return and then drive 59 yards to set up the game-winning field goal.
So in summary, hey hey, ho ho, Arkansas to the Liberty Bowl.
Sports on 08/19/2014