Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE
Matchup: Home vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
With starting quarterback Tyler Wilson reportedly sitting out Saturday's game (via ESPN's Chris Low), the onus on the Razorbacks' running back will be huge.
Likely QB replacement Brandon Allen struggled mightily against Louisiana-Monroe last week, going 6-of-20 for 85 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The redshirt freshman (understandably) looked every bit the part, buckling under pressure, as Arkansas saw its No. 8 ranking go down the drain.
That uncertainty is probably why the team has been working Brandon Mitchell, Wilson's backup last season who moved to wide receiver in 2012, at the quarterback position this week. Mitchell is a big, quick runner who should be a threat in the read option—which is exactly where Knile Davis' importance comes in.
The Razorbacks will need huge plays to pull off an upset, and those aren't possible without the junior running back. If Mitchell and Davis are able to run the read option enough to open things up for some downfield throws, this game could be closer than expected.
If not, the 20-point spread (via Vegas Insider) might be underestimated.