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Arkansas Razorbacks Vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin` Cajuns Free Pick 8/31/13

Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin` Cajuns (0-0) at Arkansas Razorbacks (0-0)

College Football: Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 4:00 pm (Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium)

The Line: Arkansas Razorbacks -11 --- Over/Under: 58 See the Latest Odds

TV: SEC, FOX, ESPN3, GamePlan

The Arkansas Razorbacks and the Louisiana-Lafayette Rajun’ Cajuns face off on Saturday in Fayetteville as they kick off their 2013 college football seasons.

The Arkansas Razorbacks are coming off a disappointing year and they have a new Head Coach, former Wisconsin Head Coach Brett Bielema. Bielema inherits plenty of talent and at QB it will be Brandon Allen who played in five games last year but was unspectacular however it is Allen’s team now and the being from Arkansas and a lifelong Hogs fan this is dream and being just a sophomore he could be there for a while. Jonathan Williams who averaged 5.1 yards per carry last season takes over as the starting tailback while Javontee Herndon and Julien Horton are the most experienced receivers. The offensive line is big but not overly experienced with just two seniors, tackle David Hurd and Center Travis Swanson. Chris Ash will be running the defense and interestingly Randy Shannon will be coaching the linebackers. Safety Rohan Gaines was Arkansas’ second leading tackler a year ago, Chris Smith led the Razorbacks in sacks with 9.5, but it is a fresh group of linebackers with Jarrett Lake, Duante Carr, and Braylon Mitchell. Bielema has some work ahead of him but his system works and look for Arkansas to be improved this season.

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Arkansas Razorbacks Vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin` Cajuns Free Pick 8/31/13

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

The Louisiana –Lafayette Rajun’ Cajuns are coming off of a New Orleans Bowl last season and with Head Coach Mark Hudspeth going 18-8 in his first two years ULL should be even better this year. QB Terrance Broadway is the top player in the Sun Belt Conference. ULL is absolutely stacked at running back with Alonzo Harris, Effrem Pierce, and Torrey Pierce who can all carry the load if need be. Darryl Surgent is the star receiver for the Rajun’ Cajuns and Jamal Robinson and James Butler should also see plenty of balls thrown their way. While it is all accolades for the ULL offense, the same can’t be said for the defense which allowed a bunch of yards and points a year ago. Linebacker Justin Anderson is the best tackler on the unit racking up 105 tackles last season. Trevence Patt moves from corner to safety and Rodney Gillis was given a sixth year of eligibility.

Arkansas is 22-8 against the spread in their last 30 home games, 1-4 against the spread in their last five games overall, and 1-4 against the spread against the Sun Belt. Louisiana-Lafayette is 20-6 against the spread in their last 26 road games, 9-2 against the spread in their last 11 non-conference games, and 5-1 against the spread in their last six games overall.

I believe Arkansas is headed back in the right direction and landing Bielema from a program from Wisconsin was gigantic but the Hogs while talented still have issues to work on. ULL on the other hand has problems on defense but their record and back-to-back bowl wins means they aren’t a novelty act and expect to hear Hudspeth’s name come up for some of the big jobs as they begin to open up. With a QB like Broadway and with all of the returning skill players the Rajun’ Cajuns aren’t going to be out of too many games this year and with a new QB for Arkansas I don’t expect the Razorbacks to be on top of their game. The spread here is simply too big. While I don’t expect ULL to ruin Bielema’s first game they might make it a little bit uncomfortable and getting double digits is just too many points. 

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