College Football Pick
Arkansas and TCU have been two teams near the top of their respective conferences over the last couple years, but haven’t been able to break into the higher echelon. Now with new quarterbacks on both sides, it’s unlikely they’ll reach those heights this season. Both will try and use this non-Conference Game as a launch pad into bigger things in Conference play. The Horned Frogs, at home, opened as a -6.5 point favorite and quickly moved to -7.5 as seen at betonline Sportsbook.
Is Kenny Hill the answer at quarterback for TCU? We’ll get a good idea after this Game as the Razorbacks return nine starters on the defensive side. However, it can’t be forgotten that Hill actually led Texas A&M to a win over Arkansas last year, posting 386 yards and Four touchdowns. Will that experience against Arkansas and other SEC teams give TCU the edge in this matchup?
This is obviously a different offense for Hill, but A&M and TCU have plenty of similarities in quick, high-scoring systems. Of course, the Horned Frogs return absolutely no one on the offensive side. Granted, that’s not to say some of the guys don’t have experience, namely playmaker KaVontae Listenbee. But scoring points on South Dakota State isn’t the same as scoring on Arkansas. The Frogs were one of the best offenses a year ago, but with so many new faces, it’s unknown just how good they can be.
And the Razorbacks return a lot of starters, but this was still one of the worst defenses in the SEC a year ago. They were great against the run, but absolutely brutal against the pass, allowing 275.2 passing yards per Game. And that’s exactly where Kenny Hill comes in.
Because it’s been close to impossible to stop TCU’s offense recently, it’s going to fall to the Arkansas offense to have a shot on the road. Austin Allen saw Louisiana Tech last week, and while TCU isn’t a defensive force, they’re definitely a step above.
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And similar to TCU, Arkansas also lacks returning starters on the offensive side. Allen has a few experienced guys to work with like receivers Drew Morgan and Keon Hatcher, but in Dan Enos’ second season as coordinator, the Razorbacks will probably lean on the ground Game a little more. That means more work for Kody Walker and Rawleigh Williams III, both of whom backed up Alex Collins last season.
TCU has handled its business at home over the years, but how much of that was due to Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson destroying opponents? Without those players, maybe that blowout threat won’t exist for the Frogs just yet, especially against an SEC opponent.
Arkansas has some experience against the Big 12, falling to Texas Tech last year and then easily taking care of Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl. And while both offenses have new faces, it could be a bigger problem for Arkansas, especially with this being Austin Allen’s first road Game as a starter.
Our Pick – A year ago, Arkansas beat Tennessee, Auburn, Ole Miss and LSU. They went toe to toe with Alabama and lost by 1 to Miss State. Their opening week performance against LA Tech gives us even more line value here. Oh, and not to mention the fact that TCU gave up 41 points last week to South Dakota State. We like Our chances here getting +7.5 with a Razorbacks squad looking to rebound. Upset not out of the question. Arkansas +7.5