No. 16 Mississippi State’s offense seeks encore vs. Arkansas
Arkansas (0-1, 0-1 SEC) at No. 16 Mississippi State (1-0, 1-0), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network Alternate).
Line: Mississippi State by 17 1/2.
Series Record: Arkansas leads 16-13-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Arkansas looks to rebound from a 37-10 opening loss to No. 4 Georgia in Sam Pittman’s coaching debut. Mississippi State returns home after upsetting defending national champion LSU 44-34 in Mike Leach’s debut as the Bulldogs coach.
Mississippi State’s Air Raid offense vs. Arkansas’ secondary. Not even Leach expected his pass-heavy scheme to thrive as well as it did at LSU in rolling up 623 yards the first time out. MSU was especially dangerous after the catch, forcing the Razorbacks to tackle as well as cover. Don’t forget, the Bulldogs also have a strong ground game with All-SEC back Kylin Hill.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Arkansas: QB Feleipe Franks. The former three-year Florida starter completed 53% of his passes for 200 yards including a 49-yard touchdown in his first game since transferring from Gainesville. In 2018, with the Gators, he threw for 2,457 of his 2,807 offensive yards and 24 of his 31 TDs.
Mississippi State: QB K.J. Costello. The Stanford graduate transfer made Leach’s trademark Air Raid scheme thrive in his first game, passing for a SEC-record 623 yards with five touchdowns. Costello also broke school records with 36 completions and 60 attempts. Besides posting the 11th-best single-game yardage total in FBS, he’s the first starter to break 500 yards in his first game with the Air Raid.
FACTS & FIGURES
Mississippi State won last year’s game 54-24, setting SEC-game school records with 460 rushing yards and 640 total. ... Razorbacks sophomore receiver Treylon Burks had career highs of seven catches for 102 yards and his first career TD against Georgia. ... Kylin Hill set a Bulldogs record for receiving yards by running back with 158 on eight catches, including a 75-yard TD. He was among three with at least 100 yards receiving in the game. ... Mississippi State recorded seven sacks at LSU, the most in game since registering seven at Kentucky on Oct. 25, 2014.
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