There’s no way around it. It was a bad week for college football teams in Arkansas.
The 13 college football programs in the state went 3-10 against out-of-state opponents. I don’t remember a week like that.
The NCAA Division I teams were 0-4.
Arkansas lost 40-17 to Mississippi State to fall to 3-3.
Arkansas State lost 42-20 to James Madison to fall to 2-4.
UCA lost 52-49 to Lindenwood to fall to 2-4.
UAPB lost 24-17 to Texas Southern to fall to 2-4.
In NCAA Division II, the six Great American Conference teams from Arkansas went 3-3 against GAC foes from Oklahoma.
I checked the NCAA Division III ranks, and it didn’t get any better. Hendrix lost 34-28 to Millsaps.
I then checked the NAIA ranks, and it was just as bad. Lyon lost 60-8 to Arizona Christian, and Arkansas Baptist lost 48-14 to Louisiana Christian.
I had my worst week by far, going 5-5 on the picks. Outside of Ouachita and Harding winning, I can no longer figure out the GAC. There’s no rhyme or reason to the other results in the conference. And both UCA and ASU continue to play worse than I had expected going into the season.
With that 5-5 mark last week, the season record now stands at 42-12.
Here are the picks for this weekend’s games:
BYU 41, Arkansas 39 — Will Rogers riddled the Arkansas secondary, passing for 395 yards and three touchdowns. Mississippi State also rushed for 173 yards and had 568 yards of total offense. Rogers now has the Southeastern Conference record for career completions at 946, surpassing Georgia’s Aaron Murray at 921. Murray played from 2010-13. Malik Hornsby did fine for Arkansas since he was responsible for 347 of the Hogs’ 483 yards of offense. Arkansas has now lost three consecutive games. It has had at least a three-game losing streak in 10 of the past 11 seasons. BYU is 4-2 with victories of 50-21 over South Florida, 26-20 over a Baylor team that was ranked No. 9 at the time, 38-24 over Wyoming and 38-26 over Utah State. The losses have been by scores of 41-20 to Oregon and 28-20 to Notre Dame in prime time on NBC last Saturday night. This is a winnable game for Arkansas, but a slight edge goes to the home team.
Southern Mississippi 40, Arkansas State 35 — In Jonesboro on Saturday night, James Madison scored touchdowns on four of five series in the second half and moved to 5-0 in its first FBS season. ASU had only 12 first downs and was outgained 598-267. The Red Wolves go on the road this week to take on a Southern Miss squad that is also struggling at 2-3. The losses have been by scores of 29-27 to Liberty, 30-7 to Miami and 27-10 to Troy. The wins were by scores of 64-10 over Northwestern State of Louisiana and 27-24 over Tulane. As is the case with Arkansas, this is a winnable game for ASU. Again, we’ll pick the home team to win a close one.
Kennesaw State 30, UCA 27 — In Conway last Saturday night, the Bears never held the lead despite gaining 590 yards and averaging 8.8 yards per play. Their defense was just that bad. UCA goes on the road this week to take on a 2-3 Kennesaw State team in Georgia. The Kennesaw victories have been by scores of 24-22 over Wofford and 40-34 over North Alabama. The losses have been by scores of 27-17 to Samford, 63-10 to Cincinnati and 35-28 to Jacksonville State. Here we go again: This is a winnable game for UCA, but we give the advantage to the home team.
Alabama A&M 21, UAPB 19 — The Golden Lions lost their homecoming game to Texas Southern. This weekend they play on Sunday in a special HBCU classic in St. Louis. Alabama A&M is also 2-4 with wins in its past two games of 35-27 over Bethune-Cookman and 37-31 over Grambling. The four losses to open the season were by scores of 59-0 to UAB, 38-17 to Troy, 28-3 to Austin Peay and 38-25 to Florida A&M.
Ouachita 34, UAM 20 — Ouachita is still No. 5 in the country in the American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division II poll. The Tigers moved to 6-0 with a 63-24 victory over a Southwestern Oklahoma team that had come in with a 3-2 record. The Tigers scored touchdowns on their first six possessions to lead 42-17 at halftime. Senior T.J. Cole rushed for 144 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore Kendel Givens added 118 yards of rushing on the ground. Quarterback Riley Harms passed for 197 yards and ran for 81 more. Ouachita had 709 yards of offense, with 481 yards of that coming on the ground. Those totals could have been much higher had Ouachita not put the substitutes in the game with nine minutes still remaining in the third quarter. UAM was shocked in its homecoming game, losing 26-23 to a Northwestern Oklahoma team that came in 0-5. Boll Weevil quarterback Demilon Brown was 20 of 30 passing for 163 yards. UAM is now 3-3.
Harding 31, Henderson 22 — Harding moved to 5-1 with a 56-28 win at Southern Nazarene. The Bisons are No. 12 in this week’s AFCA poll. Will Fitzhugh rushed for two touchdowns as Harding piled up 469 yards of offense. Henderson fell to 4-2 with a 31-10 road loss to 4-2 East Central Oklahoma. ECU scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter of that game. This Saturday’s game is in Searcy, and Harding should win.
Southern Arkansas 29, Arkansas Tech 26 — This is a hard one to pick since the teams seem evenly matched from a talent standpoint. SAU is 2-4, and Tech is 3-3. The Wonder Boys posted a 34-13 victory over 1-5 Oklahoma Baptist. Tech built a 21-0 lead and rolled on from there in a road game at Shawnee. Meanwhile, Southern Arkansas fell 35-32 to 3-3 Southeastern Oklahoma. The Muleriders scored 25 of their 32 points in the fourth quarter of that game.