FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Razorbacks and Mississippi State, who meet Saturday at 11 a.m., have engaged in back-to-back 100-point shootouts the past two seasons.
Mississippi State held on for a 51-50 victory by blocking Arkansas' chip-shot field-goal attempt in the final minute at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in 2015.
The Razorbacks jumped out to a 38-14 lead at halftime en route to a 58-42 victory at Mississippi State last season. Arkansas racked up 661 total yards, the fourth-most ever in an SEC game, and 357 yards on the ground.
Arkansas offensive coordinator Dan Enos said he'd like the Razorbacks to control the game tempo against the Bulldogs on Saturday.
"Every week it's a little different," Enos said. "I'll try to put the game plan together to move the ball effectively, control the clock and run the ball. We'll see how it goes.
"They're a really, really good defense. I haven't seen anybody else score 50 points on them this year. They've been very effective against the run."
Mississippi State is allowing 19.3 points per game under first-year defensive coordinator Todd Grantham to rank 19th in the country and 131.9 rushing yards per game to rank 32nd.
Quarterbacks Dak Prescott and Nick Fitzgerald have had field days against the Hogs the past two years.
"Maybe defensively we didn't execute the way we needed to, at least on our end," Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema said. "But it's just been kind of one of those games."
Bielema pointed out the game before the 100-point slugfests was a low-scoring affair in 2014. The Bulldogs, the first-ever No. 1 team in the College Football Playoff rankings that season, won that game 17-10 at Starkville, Miss., after Arkansas built a 10-0 lead.
Arkansas receivers coach Michael Smith, the lead recruiter for quarterback Cole Kelley, said he was disappointed in Kelley's actions that led to his arrest early Sunday on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
"Not to make excuses, but he messed up," Smith said. "Coach [Bret Bielema] has dealt with it. That's something that him and Coach have made a decision to do. I just hope he learns from it. That's it. I hope he learns from it."
Kelley has been suspended indefinitely
Face the team
Coach Bret Bielema said one of the steps he wanted freshman quarterback Cole Kelley to have to endure was facing his teammates in Sunday's meetings on the day of his arrest.
"I kind of wanted him to face everybody, to be quite honest," Bielema said. "It would have been easy to throw him out of the building [Sunday], but I wanted him to have to be around, have to answer questions."
Junior guard Hjalte Froholdt said he didn't get to talk to Kelley one on one, but he said he knows the 20-year-old has a lot to learn.
"We're all on Team Cole over here, but honestly, he made a big mistake and he's paying for it right now," Froholdt said.
Tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. said he expected a healthier pack of tight ends Saturday than in last week's loss at LSU.
"Yeah, we're beat up a little bit, but I think we're coming around," Lunney said. "I think we'll be OK by Saturday."
Sophomore Cheyenne O'Grady did not travel to LSU as he was healing a bruised tailbone, and sophomore Austin Cantrell suffered a bruised knee that knocked him out of the game.
"It was a little bit of a hodgepodge today, but everybody was out there for the most part getting involved," Lunney said. "So we anticipate by Saturday most of them being able to get in there and play at their normal speed."
Junior Jeremy Patton and sophomore Will Gragg combined to make seven catches for 91 yards against LSU, and junior Jack Kraus provided a lift in the run game, Lunney said.
Coach Bret Bielema said neither he nor his representatives have had discussions with Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long regarding his future with the Razorbacks beyond the 2017 season.
"No," Bielema said at his Monday news conference. "I think the part that we do here is we try to do the best we can every day. I know that wins have got to come. I get it. I understand it. I know we want to have a lot more wins."
Junior guard Hjalte Froholdt continues to rehab the left ankle that knocked him out of the LSU game a couple of times.
"I was just limited today, but I'm getting treatment every day," Froholdt said. "It's progressing a lot better than we expected it to be."
Sophomore receiver Deon Stewart said it's great to have senior quarterback Austin Allen back involved in games and game planning the past few weeks.
"We started the season with him and it's been great having him back," Stewart said. "He's a senior and it's his last year, so it's great to have him back out there."
Allen missed four games with a shoulder injury before returning last week against LSU.
Neither Allen nor sophomore quarterback Ty Storey did media interviews Tuesday.
High on Allen
Mississippi State Coach Dan Mullen said he likes what he's seen from Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen.
"You look, he's such a great passer," Mullen said. "Not that the other guy [Cole Kelley] with the size and all wasn't, but I think he [Allen] brings that experience within the throw game and the ability of making all the throws.
"With Austin ... he's much more of a pro-style quarterback that's going to be back there, knows the reads, has the experience and knows the system. He's going to be a lot more experienced and efficiently experienced within their offense."
Allen completed 18 of 25 passes for 303 yards, with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions, in Arkansas' 58-42 victory over the Bulldogs last season.
"By him being able to play last week, I'm sure that he'll be a little bit more efficient this week," Mississippi State first-year defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. "When I watched him in the summer I thought he was a dynamic player. He was a guy I had a lot of respect for as a quarterback in this league, one of the top ones in this league."
Reps and rest
Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads was asked this week if some of his defensive players were working too many snaps on game day.
Rhoads pointed out the LSU game was the first that the Hogs' defensive backs played every snap without substitutions, and that he expected senior safety De'Andre Coley and freshman cornerback Chevin Calloway to see playing time against Mississippi State, and possibly junior corner Britto Tutt. Coley has been out with an ankle injury the past four games and Tutt has been slowed by knee and shoulder issues.
"We have the ability, with the health of some guys, to overcome those reps," Rhoads said. "A lot of guys across the country are playing guys the entire game and surviving it. If that is what is asked of our guys, that's what we need to step up and accomplish."
Sports on 11/15/2017
Print Headline: Hogs-Dogs turned wild past 2 games