Grading the Five Keys
STARKVILLE, Miss. — Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen’s reaction told the story in Davis Wade Stadium on Saturday night.
STARKVILLE, Miss. — For three quarters, Dak Prescott hardly looked like a Heisman Trophy favorite. His numbers were fair, not overly impressive against the 47th-ranked pass defense in the country.
STARKVILLE, Miss. — Arkansas faced a tall task against Mississippi State’s defense, which has been solid against the run and stingy in the red zone all season.
TREY FLOWERS - Arkansas’ star defensive end played like it Saturday. He had seven tackles, two for loss and two quarterback hurries. More than that, he forced both Mississippi State running backs and quarterback Dak Prescott to account for him every play. He was the most disruptive player on the Razorbacks defense.
Key numbers from Arkansas’ 17-10 loss at No. 1 Mississippi State:
FAYETTEVILLE — Mississippi State became the answer to a trivia question on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs were the first team to stand on top of the College Football Playoff’s inaugural poll when it was unveiled on national television.
FIVE KEYS TO TONIGHT’S GAME
FAYETTEVILLE — Adam McFain wasn’t on Arkansas’ 105-man roster when the Razorbacks began preseason practice in August.
1. Ranking? What Ranking?: Mississippi State is ranked last in the Southeastern Conference in total defense, allowing 439.6 yards a game. The Bulldogs also are, statistically, one of the worst pass defenses in the country after surrendering 321.6 yards through the air.
FAYETTEVILLE — On the surface, Bret Bielema is simply a football tough guy.
1. Return Options: Arkansas appears to be looking everywhere for a punt returner.
FAYETTEVILLE — Michael Qualls helped Arkansas beat Kentucky with a putback dunk in the final second of overtime last season.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney wasn’t at field level last Saturday, but could sense quarterback Brandon Allen’s relief from his seat in the coaches’ box in Razorback Stadium last Saturday.
1. More Cowbell: The sound of clanging cowbells will reverberate throughout Davis-Wade Stadium on Saturday night, when Mississippi State (7-0, 4-0 in SEC) plays its first home game as college football’s top-ranked team.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said his team’s practice and scrimmage sessions have been very competitive over the past three weeks.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Mike Anderson doesn’t want his team to get caught up in preseason prognostications.
1. No. 1? No Problem: Excuse Arkansas for not feeling any added excitement as they prepare for Saturday’s game against top-ranked Mississippi State (7-0, 4-0 in SEC).
Grading the Five Keys
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas running back Jonathan Williams soaked up the scene in the celebratory locker room Saturday afternoon.