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Breaking Down The 2015 Arkansas Razorbacks

Coach Bret Bielema, who built a powerhouse of a program at Wisconsin before taking over at Arkansas, made great strides in 2014. He finally put together an offense that suits his system. Arkansas remains one of the true running teams in all of college football. Beilema’s smash mouth mentality makes the Razorbacks a different type of team than what many find in the SEC nowadays. Will Beilema’s style continue to raise the Razorbacks in the tough SEC West?    

The College Football oddsmakers listed the Auburn Tigers at 16-1 odds to win the 2015-16 FBS Championship and 19-4 to win the SEC.

2015 Arkansas Razorbacks Preview

  • Conferences: SEC
  • Conference Champion: 14 Times
  • Bowls: 40 Bowls, 14-23-3, .388 W-L% (Major Bowls)
  • 2014 Season Summary Record: 7-6, .538 W-L% (58th of 128)
  • Conference Record: 2-6 SEC (West Division)
  • Points scored per game: 31.9 (44th of 128)
  • Points allowed per game: 19.2 (10th of 128)
  • Bowl Game: Won Texas Bowl 31-7 versus Texas
  • Coach: Bret Bielema (7-6)

Arkansas Razorbacks Futures Betting Odds:

  • To Win the National Championship: +5100
  • To Win the SEC Conference: +950
  • To Win the SEC West Division: +550

2014 Arkansas Razorbacks Betting Trends:

  • Overall Against the Spread Record: 10-3
  • ATS Record at home: 7-1
  • ATS Record away from home: 3-2
  • ATS Record as favorites: 5-1
  • ATS Record as underdogs: 4-2
  • Over/Under Record: 6-7

Key Players Lost To The 2015 NFL Draft:

  • DE Trey Flowers (New England Patriots)
  • OLB Martrell Spaight (Washington)
  • CB Tevin Mitchel (Washington)
  • DT Darius Philon (San Diego Chargers)
  • TE AJ Derby (New England Patriots)

2015 Arkansas Razorbacks Offense:

Bielema’s run first mentality led to a couple of 1,000 yard rushers last season in Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins. Not only do Williams and Collins return but so do 4 starters along the offensive line. All of it should help quarterback Brandon Allen be more productive if and when the Razorbacks need to throw the football. Although Beilema’s offense doesn’t require the quarterback to put up huge numbers, in certain games, Allen might have to.

SEC defenses are well versed at stopping the run. For example, Alabama’s defense is built around the defensive line. In order to beat a team like Alabama, Arkansas, who plays the Crimson Tide on Oct. 10, will need to air it out a few times and test the Tide’s secondary. That requires Allen to not only throw the ball downfield but to also find a reliable WR target. So far, that target hasn’t emerged for the Razorbacks.

2015 Arkansas Razorbacks Defense:

Even though the defense lost key players including Martell Spraight who led the SEC in tackles last season with 128, the D should be able to hold its own against most of Arkansas’ SEC opponents. The defense will be led by Taiwan Johnson who will play defensive tackle instead of nose tackle. Johnson can get to the quarterback all by himself, but by moving to defensive tackle, he will allow players like Bijhon Jackson to eat up space. Free safety Josh Liddell could be one of the better hitters in the SEC. If he stays healthy and Arkansas defensive coordinator Robb Smith is able to make him a true free safety, he could be the guy that makes the Razorbacks a contender in the SEC West.

2015 Arkansas Razorbacks Schedule:

  • Sat, Sept 5 ARK vs UTEP 3:30 PM ET | ESPNU
  • Sat, Sept 12 ARK vs Toledo* 4:00 PM ET
  • Sat, Sept 19 ARK vs Texas Tech 7:00 PM ET |ESPN2
  • Sat, Sept 26 ARK vs Texas A&M* TBD
  • Sat, Oct 3 ARK @ Tennessee TBD
  • Sat, Oct 10 ARK @ Alabama TBD
  • Sat, Oct 24 ARK vs Auburn TBD
  • Sat, Oct 31 ARK vs UT Martin TBD
  • Sat, Nov 7 ARK @ Ole Miss TBD
  • Sat, Nov 14 ARK @ LSU TBD
  • Sat, Nov 21 ARK vs Mississippi State TBD
  • Fri, Nov 27 ARK vs Missouri 2:30 PM ET

Arkansas Razorbacks Betting Outlook:

Bielema appears to have Arkansas on the right track. While most of the teams in the SEC have moved to spread formation offenses, Bielema is playing the old school game by running it down his opponents’ throats. The Razorbacks could ball control their way to victories over Alabama, whom they almost beat last season, and Auburn, but it’s more likely that, due to strength of schedule, Arkansas loses at least 2 games in the conference. But a New Year’s Day Bowl Game isn’t out of the question for the quick rising program.  

Connect With the Arkansas Razorbacks:

Sources:

http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/schools/arkansas/
http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/teams/aan/
http://espn.go.com/college-football/team/_/id/8/arkansas-razorbacks
http://www.arkansasrazorbacks.com/