Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Ole Miss Rebels Picks and Game Preview -- 10/09/2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: Noon ET, Oct. 9, 2021
Venue: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS
Where to watch: ESPN
 

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Arkansas -5
BetMGM: Arkansas -6
Caesars: Arkansas -6
 
Season record
No. 13 Arkansas: 4-1 (1-1 SEC)
No. 17 Ole Miss: 3-1 (0-1 SEC)
 
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Arkansas - Ole Miss preview and analysis

 
Recent form
Arkansas: lost 37-0 at No. 2 Georgia on Oct. 2
Ole Miss: lost 42-21 at No. 1 Alabama on Oct. 2
 
Knowing these two would meet this week, you look back and wonder one of two things: What if they won, or what if they kept it close?
 
Looking back on how good the top two teams in the country are, neither of those were happening. But it will still be an entertaining, must-win matchup between the Arkansas Razorbacks and Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford on Saturday.
 
To say it was a rough day for the talented offenses on the road against the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs is putting it mildly, more so for Arkansas.
 
The Razorbacks got run over by the dominant Georgia defense. Arkansas, who entered as the No. 8 team in the country last week, had only 162 total yards of offense and had nine first downs. KJ Jefferson was only 8 of 13 for 65 yards after looking like a sneaky Heisman Trophy contender four games in.
 
Arkansas just couldn’t do anything to stop Georgia’s running game. The Bulldogs had 273 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, two of them coming from Zamir White on 68 yards, and Georgia didn’t need anything from backup quarterback Stetson Bennett to get the easy victory.
 
But the Hogs’ defense still carries an effective clip of allowing only 19 points per game while averaging nearly 30. Not bad for a team that’s gotten shutout, but Arkansas still boasts a strong pass defense that will need to come to play this week against a high-flying Ole Miss offense that too was grounded against Alabama this week.
 
On the surface, Ole Miss had a decent offensive output, but the game was over by the first half. The Rebels scored all 21 points in the second half. Quarterback Matt Corral had 213 yards with a decent 21 of 29 day and did not throw an interception, but consider again how everything came in the second half down by four scores.
 
The Rebels’ running game was held to just 78 yards but did score two touchdowns. There’s a silver lining somewhere.
 
Ole Miss came into this matchup with ‘Bama scoring at least 40 points in every game this season and the Rebels were quickly humbled against the defending national champions. Arkansas, which had beaten Texas and Texas A&M to leapfrog into the top 10, showed they still have a lot of room to grow offensively.
 

Prediction

 
Returning home after a dud, this is in Ole Miss’ favor greatly. Corral is going to be one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC and will prove to be a great test for the Arkansas defense. The Rebels return home and get the job done. Ole Miss by 13
 

Betting trends

 
Arkansas is 4-16 in its last 20 outright as an underdog, but 10-9 against the spread.
 
Ole Miss is 3-0 ATS as a favorite this season and 8-3 ATS in its last 11.
 

Statistical leaders

 
Arkansas:
Passing: KJ Jefferson -- 909 yards, 6 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Trelon Smith -- 302 yards, 3 TD
Receiving: Treylon Burks -- 383 yards, 2 TD
 
Ole Miss:
Passing: Matt Corral -- 1,210 yards, 12 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Henry Parrish Jr. -- 223 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Dontario Drummond -- 382 yards, 4 TD
 
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