LA Tech Bulldogs (9-4) at Arkansas Razorbacks (8-5)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 3, 2016, 4:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Arkansas Razorbacks -26 -- Over/Under: 53.5
The Arkansas Razorbacks and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs face off on Saturday in college football action as they each open their 2016 season.
The Arkansas Razorbacks have started the last two seasons slow but they are hoping to avoid that this year. With Brandon Allen gone at QB for Arkansas, his little brother, Austin Allen takes over and he is considered more of a big play maker. Arkansas lost both of their RB’s from last season but they are still fully stocked there with Kody Walker nursing a foot injury but Rawleigh Williams ready to go and a several others. Keon Hatcher and Drew Morgan are among those Razorbacks returning for what should be a decent group of receivers. Arkansas returns nine starters on defense including Brooks Ellis at MLB and Deatrich Wise Jr. at defensive end. Paul Rhodes coaches the DB’s and Jared Collins and D.J. Dean are seniors at the corners. Arkansas has looked good as the seasons have closed out the past two years but they have lost a lot of winnable games early.
It looks like it could be a rebuilding year for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs but coach Skip Holtz has gotten it done with less in the past so don’t put the expectations too low. La. Tech QB Ryan Higgins is suspended for the first game so it should be redshirt sophomore Price Wilson running the offense. It will likely be running back by committee for the Bulldogs and expect Collin Scott to be the primary ball carrier with Jarred Craft doing the tough yardage. Louisiana Tech is loaded at receiver with Trent Taylor returning after catching 99 passes last year and Carlos Henderson and Alfred Smith are burners. With the bulk of last year’s defense gone La. Tech will rely heavily on transfers to fill holes. Xavier Woods is the best returning starter for the Bulldogs defense while Ronald Lewis transfers in from Arizona State to be one of the best in the secondary. While Louisiana Tech should be strong in conference games, they may have a tougher time in the early season out of conference match ups.
Arkansas is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games, 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 non-SEC games, and 12-25 against the spread in September. Louisiana Tech is 6-1 against the spread in their last seven non Conference USA games, 5-1 against the spread against the SEC, and 23-11 in their last 34 road games.
Arkansas is a notoriously slow starter and this just looks like too many points for what looks like a lot of new players at skill positions.