Saturday’s game against Mississippi State marks Arkansas football‘s halfway point of the 2022 regular season. With the Hogs currently sitting at 3-2 (1-2) on the year, Sam Pittman’s team feels like they are in a must-win situation against the Bulldogs.
Said win will not come easy. If there were a team on paper that was perfectly crafted to exploit Arkansas football’s weaknesses, it would be Mike Leach’s Mississippi State squad. The Bulldogs torch teams through the air, and their defense is stingy.
That combination could be disastrous for Arkansas football. The Hogs still give up 433 yards of total offense per game at 6.4 yards per play. So the Razorbacks will have to put up points to stay in the game.
Who will be the most important players for Arkansas football if they are going to steal a win in Starkville?
That may be even harder to do if KJ Jefferson cannot play. While Jefferson did practice on Wednesday, making him eligible to travel to Starkville, it is still unclear who will play at quarterback.
Jefferson being out would put more pressure on the running backs and offensive line to put points on the board. While offensive coordinator Kendal Briles prefers to push the tempo, you wonder if he’ll look to control the clock more if Jefferson misses the game. The best defense might be trying to play keep away from the Bulldogs.
With all this in mind, who are three players to watch as the Hogs storm Starkville? If Arkansas football is going to leave with a win, who will need to be a difference-maker?