Rex Nelson: Arkansas College Football Picks – Week 5


Editor’s Note: Each week throughout football season Sporting Life Arkansas excerpts Rex Nelson’s Weekly Arkansas College Football Picks and links to Rex’s Southern Fried Blog for his full predictions. Rex makes his prediction for every four-year college football team in the state. Enjoy.

Rex Nelson Archive PageRazorback fans are feeling good again.

At least the program matters, something you couldn’t say the past two years.

In fact, it matters enough that the main CBS broadcast — Verne, Gary and the 2:30 p.m. kickoff — is slated for Arkansas vs. Texas A&M at Arlington, Texas, on Saturday.

Yes, the Razorbacks have a fighting chance as they show continued improvement in Year 2 of the Bret Bielema era.

Last week in Fayetteville, you could tell that Northern Illinois’ 17-game road winning streak was over just as soon as Korliss Marshall returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. Arkansas has now won three games in a row by 21 or more points for the first time since 2010. The Huskies are 1-10 through the years against Southeastern Conference foes, but this was a fairly talented Northern Illinois team that Arkansas dismantled by a final score of 52-14.

Unlike the win over Nicholls State, this was a quality victory.

Arkansas’ offense showed that it could pass the football in addition to running it. Brandon Allen had 199 passing yards. Keon Hatcher, with 107 receiving yards, became the first Razorback receiver this year to top 100 yards in a game. Arkansas actually passed for more yards than it ran for, 215 to 212.

As for the Aggies, they’re 4-0 for the first time since 2006. Texas A&M toyed with 0-3 SMU in Dallas last Saturday, winning by a final score of 58-6. It could have been worse. Quarterback Kenny Hill played for only a half at quarterback but still accounted for 322 yards of offense. He was 16 of 22 passing for 265 yards and two touchdowns.

I went 8-1 on the picks for a second consecutive week, missing only on UAM’s 34-28 loss at Northwestern Oklahoma. The 0-3 Boll Weevils have now lost three consecutive games in the final minutes.

The season record is 29-2.

On to the picks for Week 5:

Texas A&M 49, Arkansas 36 — The Aggies have been impressive in victories of 52-28 over South Carolina, 73-3 over Lamar, 38-10 over Rice and 58-6 over SMU. This is a far superior Arkansas team to the one that took the field last year, losing nine consecutive games to end the season. Texas Tech did not look as bad as advertised in its 45-35 loss Thursday night to No. 24 Oklahoma State. So the Arkansas wins over Texas Tech and Northern Illinois both could be described as quality wins. Now comes the death march known as the SEC West. Texas A&M should win. Arkansas might.

UCA 50, Nicholls State 22 — Poor ol’ Nicholls. The Colonels have now lost by scores of 44-16 to Air Force, 73-7 to Arkansas, 27-10 to Henderson and 77-3 to North Texas. Nicholls will have the distinction of having lost to an FBS, an FCS and a Division II school from Arkansas, all in the month of September. The Bears are off to a 1-3 start in the first year under head coach Steve Campbell. It was a heartbreaker in Conway last Saturday night as Missouri State hit a 53-yard field goal as time expired to win, 33-31. Willie Matthews scored for UCA with 59 seconds left. The extra point gave the home team a 31-30 lead. That drive included a fourth-and-11 completion by Ryan Howard, but it wasn’t enough. The task will be much easier this Saturday in Conway.

Ouachita 31, Southeastern Oklahoma 21 — Ouachita went to 2-0 last Saturday with a 41-20 win at Cliff Harris Stadium in Arkadelphia over an East Central Oklahoma squad that had rolled in with a 2-0 record. Senior running back Steven Kehner out of Glen Rose gained 160 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns for the Tigers. Senior quarterback Kiehl Frazier out of Shiloh Christian gained another 105 yards on the ground and passed for 165 yards. Meanwhile, the Ouachita defense came up with five interceptions. Southeastern is 1-2 with losses to Southern Arkansas and Henderson sandwiched around a 52-49 victory over UAM.

For Rex’s complete Arkansas College Football Picks this week, click here.

arkansas college football picks week 5


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