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Arkansas Razorbacks Football: Previewing the Missouri State Game

John BainCorrespondent IIAugust 30, 2011

Arkansas Razorbacks Football: Previewing the Missouri State Game

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    Tyler Wilson and the rest of the Arkansas Razorbacks are just four days away from their opening game of the 2011 college football season against the Missouri State Bears.

    With Arkansas in the tougher of the two SEC divisions, this first game is especially important in helping the Hogs gain momentum heading into their tougher games as the season progresses.

    On paper, the Razorbacks should win this game handily, but anything can happen.

    If history is any indicator, the Razorbacks and Bears have met just six times since 1911, with the Razorbacks defeating the Bears in all six games and outscoring their opponent 294-33.

    Nonetheless, the Razorbacks will look to put on another show for their home crowd on Saturday.

Offense

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    It has been well documented that the 2011 Arkansas Razorbacks could have one of the most lethal wide receiver cores in the nation.

    With Tyler Wilson taking snaps this year, it only increases the chances of the Hogs dominating through the air against Missouri State. Every starting receiver has had at least 600 yards under his belt.

    The one weak spot for the Arkansas offense coming into this game is that of their running game. They lost Knile Davis to a broken ankle and will be out for the season, and they have lost much of their offensive line from 2010 to the draft and graduation.

    Luckily for the 'Backs, for the first time in 23 years, the Bears are projected to finish dead last in MVC. This should provide the Razorbacks with a good opportunity to allow their offense to create good chemistry in a game situation.

    Wilson will have Greg Childs and Jarius Wright among other receivers to become familiar with, and will also be able to adjust to having a new offensive line in front of him.

    The offense should dominate a weak, young, and inexperienced Missouri State defense or at least should be able to try some new plays out on them.

    The Razorbacks shouldn't have any problems putting up points on the Bears on Saturday. 

Defense

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    Missouri State and Arkansas are two completely different teams, it is to be expected for Arkansas to win or any BCS team to win when playing a FCS team. 

    The Razorbacks will be led into battle by safety Tramain Thomas, LB Jerry Franklin, and DE Tenarius Wright.

    Missouri States offense has a lot of fresh faces coming into the 2011 season including new QB Trevor Wooden, who is taking over for the Bears in place of all time passing leader Cody Kirby, who graduated following the 2010 season.

    Unfortunately for the Bears, Wooden won't be eligible to play as he is suspended for the first game of the season. 

    This could be one of the first times in Arkansas' head coach Bobby Petrino's career where his defense is better than his offense.

    He has eight returning starters from 2010, and they are very good at rushing the passer and disrupting plays.

    When Missouri State enters Razorback Stadium on Saturday, you can be sure that the Hogs will be dominant on the inexperience of the Bears.

    It is fairly clear where the advantage here is for the 'Backs, and without a doubt, they will look to limit the bears to less than 10 points.

Final Prediction

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    The Arkansas Razorbacks will dominate the Missouri State Bears come Saturday. Flat out and honest, they are a far superior team to the Bears. 

    The weak opponent allows Tyler Wilson to get acclimated to his new role as the starting quarterback and get some real reps in in a game situation.

    Without Knile Davis in the backfield, Wilson will be throwing the ball that much more this season, and this game will allow him to get a good rhythm going. 

    On the defensive side, the Razorbacks should have a field day. They will be going up against a second string QB who will either be a redshirt freshman or a true freshman, and undoubtedly will let their nerves get the best of them.

    The key to this game is experience. Experience is something this 2011 Razorbacks team has a lot of, and something the Missouri State Bears lack.

    The other thing going into this game is that the Hogs are a big time program, and the Bears just aren't on their level.

    Prediction: Razorbacks over the Bears 48-10

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