SEC Football: Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Arkansas Razorbacks Against the Spread

Southern Miss at Arkansas Game Preview, Pick Against the Spread
Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Southern Miss Golden Eagles at Arkansas Razorbacks (-23)
12:21 p.m. – SEC TV – XM 201 – Sirius 113

The fans of the Arkansas Razorbacks haven’t been this excited since Fat Toney’s BBQ first opened and Lou Holtz roamed across the sidelines. That’s right! Fans no longer think of neck braces and volleyball players or phone calls and television reporters as Bret Bielema has the Razorbacks steadily building his system.

So entering the “exhibition” game this week for Arkansas are the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. Yes, the 0-2 formerly solid team under Larry Fedora who is now on their third coach in three years. Nationally, the Golden Eagles are No. 111 in points scored, No. 113 in points allowed and No. 123 in rushing.

Their only saving grace is their quarterback Allen Bridgeford, who is decent and has Southern Miss at No. 28 nationally in Passing. But Bridgeford is not Teddy Bridgewater, so don’t get too unsettled.

The line for this game started with Southern Miss getting 19 points and has quickly moved up to 23. Ole Woody Smalls (12-12 on the season) thinks this is just the Vegas bean counters trying to settle the money based on Arkansas’ less than stellar win last week.

But when you look at the Razorbacks after two games, you can clearly see Bielema building his footprint from the inside out. Arkansas is tops in the SEC in rushing and is No. 2 in rushing defense and No. 3 in total defense. Arkansas is also No. 11 in the nation in rushing, which is a far cry from this time last season.

His plan was to build a solid offensive and defensive line, establish a running game and then let the rest develop. And so far, Bielema’s plan has worked to perfection.

Arkansas will continue to run the ball and keep Southern Miss on their heels all game long, winning and covering, 52-17.

M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association. Follow him @woodysmalls.

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