8-5, 7-5 ATS, 4th Place in SEC West
Odds to Win 2010 BCS Championship: +3500
Odds to Win 2010 SEC Championship: 10/1
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The Hogs had an up and down 2009 campaign. The season began with a 3-4 record and a disappointing 23-20 loss at Florida. However, the young squad won five of its final six and rides the momentum of a Liberty Bowl victory over East Carolina into the 2010 campaign.
Offensive Outlook: The Razorbacks offense will look much the same as it did last year. QB Ryan Mallett returns to the helm as a junior, coming off a season in which he averaged 295 passing yards per game, good for tenth in the nation. At his disposal will be the talents of WRs Greg Childs, Jarius Wright, and Joe Adams. Childs led the receiving corps with 897 yards and tied Adams for most receiving touchdowns at seven. At the running back position, Brodderick Green may need to settle into a role as a workhorse for the offense. He and Michael Smith split significant time at the position last year, but Smith is one of the 11 seniors on the 2009 squad who graduated. The Hogs averaged 131.8 yards on the ground, good for just 81st in the nation. A strong showing for Green could push this top offense to new heights.
Defensive Outlook: Defense was the Achilles heel of the Razorbacks in 2009, allowing 401.2 total yards per game, 248.5 passing yards per game, and 25.1 points per game. The key to this 'D' is going to be its experience. The vast majority of linebackers, safeties, and defensive backs at the coaching staff’s disposal are juniors or seniors and should be much improved. Keep a close eye on DB Isaac Madison, who is returning from a knee injury that halted his 2009 season before it ever got underway.
The Final Word: The Razorbacks have a lot to build on in a strong, prolific offense. What will make or break this team is their ability to stop its fellow high-powered SEC opponents, especially through the air. Look for Arkansas to be a much improved team and a tough opponent all year long. However, the season could be shaped very early on with back to back games against Georgia and Alabama in its third and fourth games respectively.
2010 Arkansas Razorbacks Prediction: 9-3, 3rd place in SEC West
2010 Arkansas Razorbacks Schedule
9/4 Tennessee Tech
9/18 @ Georgia
10/9 vs. Texas A&M (N)
10/16 @ Auburn
11/6 @ South Carolina
11/20 @ Mississippi State