Arkansas preview

Chris Jones sacked Brandon Allen during last year's game. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Chris Jones sacked Brandon Allen during last year’s game. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark., – Last week’s loss against Alabama eliminated Mississippi State from contention to reach the SEC Championship game this season.

But that does not mean the Bulldogs are giving up on achieving some of there other goals. MSU is 7-3 overall and 3-3 in conference play and have an opportunity to reach last year’s win total if it can win out.

“We’ve had some ups and downs but we still have a chance to have a very successful year,” said MSU quarterback Dak Prescott. “We can match what we did last year with a 10-3 season so we’ve still got a lot to play for – a good bowl game and get the Egg Bowl trophy back at the end of the regular season.”

Up first on the Bulldogs’ to do list is a trip to Fayetteville to take on Arkansas at 6 p.m. today on ESPN.

State has fared well on the road this season with a 3-1 record, earning wins at Southern Miss, Auburn and Missouri by keeping the home crowd at bay.

“On those road games we’ve been able to start off fast and get a good jump on things,” Prescott said. “We’re able to play within our tempo and rhythm and not give the away crowd an advantage of getting into the game and loud and causing us problems.”

Reynolds Razorback Stadium is foreign to all of State’s players. The Bulldogs are 0-3 all-time at the venue and have not played there since a 52-6 shellacking during Jackie Sherrill‘s final season in 2003.

The Razorbacks lead the all-time series 15-9-1 although Mississippi State has claimed the last three match-ups. The last two games have come down to the final play.

The Bulldogs are hoping to bounce back from last week’s loss in which Prescott was sacked nine times. MSU was also held out of the end zone for the first time in 34 games.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever started a game and not scored a touchdown in my life,” Prescott said. “That didn’t sit easy with me or the offense. It’s important for us to get our rhythm back so we can go out there and score.”

The Bulldogs’ defense will be challenged with stopping an Arkansas offense that is red hot. The Razorbacks (6-4, 4-2 SEC) are riding a four-game winning streak while averaging 525.3 yards and 50.3 points over that span.

“Their balance is what makes them really hard to stop,” said MSU defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. “I think the quarterback (Brandon Allen) is really playing at a high level. He’s really feeling comfortable back there and throwing the ball with a lot of confidence. As the season has gone on more and more weapons are emerging for them to spread the ball around to.”

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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