Chad Morris and Co. are coming off their first FBS win halfway through the 2018 season. Vanderbilt is coming off three straight losses, all against top 15 opponents. (@ UGA, UF, @ UK) The most recent heartbreaker being a 14-7 defeat to Kentucky in Lexington. The Hogs and ‘Dores both share a welcoming bye week next week, since both squads are dinged up in key areas. Arkansas will be without starting running back Devwah Whaley, while Vanderbilt’s starting running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn is questionable.
Vandy has been the doormat of the conference as of late, winning only six conference games since Derek Mason took the job in 2014, good for worst in the Southeastern Conference.
Coach John Chavis and the Hog defense suffocated the Golden Hurricanes last week. You would have to go back to November of 2014 to find the last time Arkansas shut out an opponent, a 30-0 drubbing of Ole Miss. Sure, Tulsa is not a very sound offensive football team. But to hold a team to zero points for 60 minute’s is no small task.
Thankfully for the Hogs, Ty Storey will be back and healthy. Ty has been looking better and better as the season progresses. Rakeem Boyd will have another hefty workload this week as well. He MUST hang to the ball after two cough up’s last go around.
In the recruiting world, Arkansas improved upon its stellar 2019 recruiting class. 3 star Taurean Carter from Mansfield, Texas decided to put the Hog hat on over Big 10 schools Wisconsin and Michigan State. Another heavily recruited prospect Arkansas is pursuing is 4 star safety Jalen Catalon. Jalen also attends the same high school as Taurean. Mr. Catalon is not only a football player but has a chance to play baseball for the Diamond Hogs as well. Another key pickup from last week was Junior College OL Josh Donovan. This is a big pickup because Josh already has some experience at the college level and has an opportunity to compete for playing time the moment he steps on campus next year.
The Arkansas Razorbacks currently hold the 12th spot in the team recruiting rankings according to Rivals, good for 5th in the SEC. Premiere teams like Notre Dame and Ohio State are behind the Hogs in recruiting. This staff is simply doing an exceptional job.
Vanderbilt has an experienced head coach in Derek Mason along to go with an experienced quarterback in Kyle Shurmur. The Razorbacks still have not been able to prove they can close out games. I predict the Hogs have the lead through three quarters but choke up the lead and let the Commodores escape Fayetteville with a rare conference victory.