The Arkansas Razorbacks are going to destroy the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. We all know that. The question is whether or not the Warhawks can make the Razorbacks keep their starters in for more than the first half.
Louisiana-Monroe isn’t a horrible program, but giving one of the SEC’s better teams a run at home is a tall task.
The Razorbacks have a huge matchup looming in Week 3 against Alabama. The Warhawks' only chance is that the Razorbacks overlook them.
Here’s the information you need to catch this game:
Where: War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, AR
When: September 8, 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN U
Live Stream: ESPN 3
Radio: 99.5 FM in Arkansas, 104.1 in Monroe
Odds: Per Oddshark.com, Arkansas (+28)
No injuries to report for either team
What’s At Stake
This is the season-opener for the Warhawks. They would love to get their season started with a monumental upset. That isn’t likely as they are coming off a season that saw them go 4-8.
Thinking more realistically, the Warhawks would like to have a strong showing so they can use this game as a building block moving forward.
The Razorbacks have aspirations of making major noise in the SEC, as well as nationally. This is generally a cupcake spot on their schedule, but anything can happen.
They can’t look past any opponent, but most of all they’d like to emerge from this game healthy for the Week 3 showdown with Alabama.
What They’re Saying
Per the Arkansas Razorbacks’ official site, head coach John L. Smith commented on his team’s impressive offensive performance against Jacksonville St. in Week 1:
Once the offense started to get on a roll, the defense could feel it and it carries over, so we go out and make a stop and get it back and get a score. You just want to keep that rolling as long as you can. It was a great feeling to see the offense take control and do all of that.
The Razorbacks trounced Jacksonville St. 49-24 behind 367 passing yards and three touchdowns from Tyler Wilson.
Warhawks head coach Todd Berry speaks on waiting a week for the season opener, per the Warhawks' official website:
There are a lot of reasons to be very optimistic about this season. It is a bit different not being able to open up this Saturday but we have dealt with this before, two years ago. The majority of the team is used to this situation.
The team certainly can’t afford any rust. They will need to play their best game to keep it close.
Players to Watch
Arkansas - Chris Smith
The junior defensive end had a strong start to his season. He earned SEC co-Defensive Lineman of the Week. He made six tackles and recorded a sack in the Razorbacks’ win over Jacksonville St.
It will be interesting to see if he can sustain the momentum.
Louisiana-Monroe - Kolton Browning
Any chance the Warhawks have to compete in this game starts with their QB. Browning has had a decent career up to this point. The junior has thrown for 5,035 yards and 31 touchdowns in his career.
If he can command the Warhawks’ four-receiver set and collect some early first downs, the Warhawks may be able to keep this game competitive.
How badly will Arkansas beat Lousiana-Monroe?
Warhawks O-Line vs. Razorbacks D-Line
It took the Razorbacks’ defense a while, but they finally woke up against Jacksonville St. They recorded three second-half sacks in Week 1, and their ability to pressure Browning will dictate if this becomes a blowout early.
Tackles Jeremy Burton and Demiere Burkett will be tested in this one, as they try to give Browning the time to move the ball through the air.
The Razorbacks will blow this game open after halftime. They have too much size and speed for the Warhawks on both sides of the ball.
I'm still not overly impressed with their defense, but they have more than enough to handle the Warhawks.
Final score prediction: 51-20, Hogs.
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