Arkansas vs. LA Monroe: The Hogs Tune-Up for Bama Against the Warhawks

James Brown@@chasingballgameSenior Analyst ISeptember 7, 2012

LITTLE ROCK, AR - NOVEMBER 19:   Chris Gragg #80 of the Arkansas Razorbacks runs the ball after catching a pass against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at War Memorial Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Little Rock, Arkansas.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

In Week 2 of the college football season the Arkansas Razorbacks will play against the Louisiana- Monroe Warhawks, but their mind will be on the Alabama Crimson Tide.

With all due respect to the Warhawks, the Razorbacks are using this game as a tune-up for the biggest game of the year against the top-ranked team in the country.

Overall the Razorbacks under-achieved against Jacksonville State in Week 1 and don’t be surprised if they have a similar performance in Week 2. The first two games for the Hogs are the equivalent of preseason in the NFL.

The Hogs are still working on their defense with new players in new positions. Expect a better performance against the Warhawks with players learning their assignments and adjusting to the game.

The secondary will be tested when they attempt to cover Louisiana-Monroe wide receiver Brent Leonard. Leonard is a stud on the Warhawks offense and will provide a good test for the suspect secondary of the Hogs.

On offense Tyler Wilson looks to build on his Heisman resume after a solid performance in Week 1. The Warhawks return just five starters on defense and Wilson will exploit this inexperience early and often.

The Hogs will get Cobi Hamilton back in action after missing most of the season opener with a head injury. After the Hogs get a comfortable lead, expect a steady diet of Knile Davis out of the backfield to get the running back ready for a big game against Alabama.

The Razorbacks did get some bad news this week when coach John L. Smith announced that starting fullback Kiero Small would need surgery to fix his injured foot. Small is a reliable blocker in this offense and may be missed more than people think. He may not be a big name, but he had a very big role.

The Razorbacks have no chance of losing this game but the final score and the tempo of the game will be heavily scrutinized. The Hogs are already looking ahead to the big game against Alabama, but they must perform well against the Warhawks if they hope to head into that battle brimming with confidence.

The Razorbacks need an impressive outing on defense and will look to end on a high-note and then the countdown to the big game with the Crimson Tide begins.

James Brown is a B/R featured columnist and can be followed on Twitter. Feel free to contact James at He also is a contributor at Bookie Blitz, a sports picks website.