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College football: Week 3

There just isn’t much good to say about the state of Razorback football these days.

Want a silver lining in the 34-27 loss to a Colorado State team that had come into last week’s game with an 0-2 record?

Well, Arkansas did gain 299 yards on the ground.

But the Razorbacks never found consistency at quarterback. The team had just 16 yards of offense in the fourth quarter. And Colorado State outgained Arkansas through the air 389-138.

It was the first time in 125 seasons of Razorback football for an Arkansas team to play in the state of Colorado. It was supposed to be a win.

Oh well.

We were only 5-3 on the picks last week. Not only did the Hogs let us down, Southern Arkansas upset Harding in Searcy, and we still can’t figure out the University of Arkansas at Monticello Boll Weevils.

That makes the record 11-5 for the young season.

Here are the picks for Week 3:

Arkansas 34, North Texas 32 — The game is in Fayetteville, and Arkansas could very well lose based on what we saw last week. Let’s suppose that these Arkansas players show some pride; that they’re embarrassed by what happened at Fort Collins. Let’s suppose that a big home crowd shows up and is loud. Let’s suppose that the new coaching staff learned important lessons last week. Let’s — at the risk of being called homers — go with Arkansas to win a close game. North Texas was 9-5 overall and 7-1 in Conference USA in 2017 when quarterback Mason Fine was the conference’s offensive player of the year with 4,052 yards passing. North Texas has come out of the starting gate strong with victories of 46-23 over SMU and 58-16 over Incarnate Word.

Arkansas State 35, Tulsa 33 — The Red Wolves completed their mission in Tuscaloosa last Saturday: They picked up that large check and got home safely. We knew it wasn’t going to be pretty, and it wasn’t as Alabama rolled to a 57-7 victory. It was ASU’s biggest loss since a 63-7 defeat at the hands of Virginia Tech in 2002. The Tide outgained the Red Wolves 599-391 and led 19-0 after just 12 minutes of play. ASU head coach Blake Anderson put it best when he said: “We could have played our best game and still not won.” At least Arkansas State scored a third-quarter touchdown so it can say it has not been shut out in 119 games. The Red Wolves go to Tulsa on Saturday, and you have to wonder which Tulsa team will show up — the one that struggled to beat the University of Central Arkansas by a score of 38-27 in the first game or the one that gave Texas all it wanted in Austin last week before falling by a final score of 28-21. We’re going with Anderson’s Red Wolves in a tight one.

UCA 28, Southeastern Louisiana 20 — After coming close at Tulsa, the Bears played their home opener in the rain and posted a 26-13 victory over Murray State. It marked the first victory for Nathan Brown as the UCA head coach. Sophomore quarterback Breylin Smith was 24 of 31 passing for 301 yards and one touchdown. The Bears head to the New Orleans area on Saturday to face an 0-2 Southeastern Louisiana team that fell 34-31 to Louisiana-Monroe in the opener and 31-0 to LSU the following week at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge.

South Dakota State 41, UAPB 21 — After an embarrassing loss to an NCAA Division II school in Week 1 (Morehouse), the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff bounced back to pick on an NAIA opponent. The 55-0 victory over Cumberland from Tennessee was worth the 145-minute lightning delay at Simmons Bank Field. Shannon Patrick completed 10 of 11 passes for 227 yards and three touchdowns for the Golden Lions. Now comes a long trip to Brookings, S.D., to take on South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits had their opener against Iowa State called off due to weather and then bounced back for a 45-14 victory over Montana State.

Harding 37, Southern Nazarene 14 — The Bisons were No. 7 in the country in Division II following their easy victory at Henderson in Week 1. Week 2 was a different story. Two fumbles were returned for touchdowns by Southern Arkansas against Harding on Sunday afternoon (the game was postponed Saturday night when the lightning wouldn’t let up), and the Bisons fell by a final score of 28-23. The 1-1 Bisons are now No. 21 in the country. Don’t forget that Harding teams tend to get better as the season goes on. Witness last year when the Bisons started 0-3 and then won 11 consecutive games while making it to the semifinals of the Division II playoffs. Expect Harding to take its frustration out on a 1-1 Southern Nazarene team on Saturday.

Southern Arkansas 40, Southwestern Oklahoma 29 — The 2-0 Muleriders moved into the Top 25 at No. 25 following the win over Harding. Coach Bill Keopple has his most talented team yet at Magnolia. Barrett Renner is the Great American Conference’s best quarterback, and the defense showed what it’s made of at Searcy on Sunday. SAU travels to Weatherford, Okla., this weekend to take on a Southwestern Oklahoma team that scored 49 points in a Week 1 win over UAM but just eight points in a Week 2 loss at Ouachita. We’re not sure which Bulldog team will show up in Week 3.

Ouachita 42, Southeastern Oklahoma 31 — Ouachita looked the part of the defending conference champion at Cliff Harris Stadium last Saturday night in a 41-8 victory over Southwestern Oklahoma. The 2-0 Tigers led 31-0 at halftime. Ouachita had 323 yards rushing with senior Kris Oliver from Arkadelphia getting 127 of those. Ouachita must travel to Durant, Okla., on Saturday to take on Southeastern Oklahoma, a program that always gives Tiger teams fits. In fact, Ouachita has lost to Southeastern in each of the past two seasons. The Savage Storm enters the game with a 1-1 record. Ouachita has moved up to No. 14 in the national rankings.

Henderson 30, Northwestern Oklahoma 27 — The Reddies looked bad in losing the first game to Harding but appeared to improve as they went on the road last Saturday and escaped Russellville with a 38-31 victory over Arkansas Tech in one overtime. Henderson forced overtime with a 21-yard touchdown pass with just 46 seconds remaining in regulation. Northwestern Oklahoma is 0-2 but gave Ouachita a challenge two weeks ago in Alva.

UAM 26, East Central Oklahoma 24 — The Boll Weevil defense gave up seven touchdown passes in a Week 1 loss to Southwestern Oklahoma but bounced back at home a week later for a 44-36 victory over a decent Northwestern Oklahoma team. Cole Sears was 14 of 27 passing for 243 yards and one touchdown for the Boll Weevils. East Central is 0-2 and hasn’t looked good in its first two games. The Boll Weevils, though, aren’t talented enough to overlook anyone.

Arkansas Tech 25, Oklahoma Baptist 22 — A year ago, this wouldn’t have been considered an upset pick. After all, Tech finished the regular season 8-3 and just missed out on a piece of the GAC title. Oklahoma Baptist, meanwhile, joined East Central in the cellar at 2-9. This year, however, Tech is off to an 0-2 start with losses to Southern Arkansas and Henderson. And Oklahoma Baptist is off to a surprising 2-0 start.

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