On paper, the game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knight and Arkansas Razorbacks looks like a mismatch. One team is undefeated with a ferocious defense. The other is in a state of dysfunction under a new head coach, banged up quarterback, and coming off of a 52-0 road loss.
Of course, the roles are reversed heading into Saturday evening’s game between Rutgers and Arkansas. It’s the Scarlet Knights riding high after a convincing road Big East victory, sporting a stout defense, and thriving under new head coach Kyle Flood.
Meanwhile, Arkansas is a mess. The 52-0 drubbing at the hands of Alabama was embarrassing, but this season is slipping away due to multiple reasons. A loss at the hands of a Sun Belt team seemed like rock bottom. As did Bobby Petrino’s dismissal. As did Tyler Wilson calling out the team for quitting. Clearly, there’s no end insight for the fans in Arkansas.
Rutgers isn’t using this week to pile on, though. New head coach Kyle Flood is doing everything he can to make sure his team is aware of just how much talent this SEC team has. By the end of the week, you can be assured that Rutgers will be ready to face the Top 10 team of two weeks ago.
“This is an extremely talented football team,” Flood said. “I don’t think the record and their scores are indicative of what they can do. I really believe every week and every game is a unique and independent event. Every week, the matchups change, the schemes changes. I think this week is the same. I don’t think the records, ours being 3-0 and theirs being 1-2 will have any effect on the outcome of this game.”
Flood is correct. Arkansas will be a different football team this week against Rutgers than they were against Alabama. On the flip side, Rutgers will be different than they were against South Florida.
Despite the Razorbacks issues, this game is far from a slam dunk for the Scarlet Knights. Flood is trying to prepare them for a battle against a big-time opponent. If they are up to that task, there’s a chance that the Big East sends a message to the nation this weekend.