The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 14th, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Razorback Stadium (72,000) -- Fayetteville, Arkansas. Television: CSS. Home Record: Troy 4-0, Arkansas 4-1. Away Record: Troy 3-2, Arkansas 0-3. Neutral Record: Troy 0-0, Arkansas 1-0. Conference Record: Troy 6-0, Arkansas 2-4. Series Record: Arkansas leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Troy Trojans will step out of Sun Belt Conference action this weekend and head to SEC country to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in a non- league affair at Razorback Stadium.
This will be the third meeting between the two schools, with Arkansas winning the first two matchups.
Troy opened its year with two straight losses, but since then the team has reeled off seven consecutive wins. The most recent victory for the Trojans was a 40-20 decision over Western Kentucky. The Trojans have dealt with some issues on the road this season, and come into this contest with a mediocre 3-2 ledger away from home.
As for the Razorbacks, they are coming off a 33-16 victory over South Carolina. It was the second straight win for Arkansas, which is now an impressive 4-1 at home. After this contest the Razorbacks will close out their season with a home matchup against Mississippi State, followed by a road meeting with LSU.
The Trojans possess a very balanced attack offensively, and the success of the unit has led to a healthy 31.3 ppg. Troy is churning out 142.2 ypg on the ground. DuJuan Harris is leading the team with 408 yards and eight touchdowns, while Shawn Southward has contributed 336 yards and seven scores. The passing attack has also enjoyed success, thanks to the play of Levi Brown, who has thrown for 2,777 yards and 15 scores against four interceptions. The team's dangerous attack took advantage of Western Kentucky. The ground game rumbled for 201 yards and the majority of the damage was done Southward, who rushed for 139 yards and four scores. Brown was also impressive in the win, as the quarterback threw for 251 yards and one score on 20-of-33 passing.
The defense for Troy has not been as impressive, mainly because the unit has struggled to defend the pass, as opponents are torching Troy for 256.3 ypg through the air. Overall the defense is surrendering 26.1 ppg on 390.2 total ypg. Troy has only forced 16 turnovers on the season, which is not a high amount, but the unit has done a slightly better job at pressuring the quarterback and heads into this game with 21 sacks. Although the Trojans were victorious over Western Kentucky, the defense had a poor showing, allowing the winless Hilltoppers to rack up 422 total yards, including 226 rushing yards. Brandon Lang led the way for Troy with 13 tackles and two sacks, while Chris Bowens added 12 stops in the win.
The Razorbacks do not get much attention in their own conference because of the talent in the SEC, but this is a very dangerous offensive unit, which is averaging 434.3 total ypg. The team is churning out a respectable 134.9 ypg on the ground, but the Razorbacks do not possess a top option out of the backfield. Michael Smith is leading the way, but with only 375 yards, while Broderick Green has rumbled for only 302 yards, to go along with eight touchdowns. The passing attack as been much better, and that is because of Ryan Mallet, who has thrown for 2,477 yards and 18 touchdowns against just three interceptions. Clearly Mallet's favorite target has been Greg Childs, who is leading the team with 34 receptions, 652 yards and five touchdowns. In the team's recent win over South Carolina, the offense put forth a lopsided effort, as Mallet threw for 329 yards, but finished the game without a touchdown pass. All four scores for Arkansas came on the ground, but the Razorbacks only rushed for 78 yards on 2.1 yards per tote. Green led the way with 47 yards and two scores, while Joe Adams and Mallet both scored a touchdown on the ground as well.
The Arkansas defense has not enjoyed similar success and has show quite a few holes throughout the season, mainly against the pass, as the defense is being torched for 271.1 ypg. Overall the team is surrendering a whopping 407.2 total ypg, and that has led to 26.1 ppg. In the team's recent victory over South Carolina, the defense's troubles against the pass continued as the Razorbacks allowed 327 yards through the air. However, the unit was able to hold the Gamecocks to just 53 rushing yards on 2.1 yards per attempt. Arkansas only forced one turnover in the win, giving the team 19 takeaways on the year. Jerry Franklin led the way with 10 tackles in the win, while Wendel Davis, the team's leading tackler (62 stops and seven TFLs), finished with eight in the contest.
The Trojans are clearly the best team in their conference, but they are far way from the Sun Belt this Saturday. The Razorbacks have been successful at home, and should have no trouble going score for score with Troy.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas 38, Troy 24