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College football: Week 9

Finally, there’s a Razorback victory to discuss.

The Hog losing streak, which had reached six games, is a thing of the past following the 23-0 homecoming victory in Fayetteville against Tulsa. Too bad you can’t play a home-and-home series in a single season. After all, Arkansas has now won 19 consecutive games against Tulsa.

The last time there was a Hurricane victory over the Hogs was in 1976 when Steve Cox (who would transfer to Arkansas the next season) kicked three field goals in a 9-3 win. Arkansas is now 55-15-3 through the decades against Tulsa with a 42-5 record in Fayetteville.

Connor Noland became the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Arkansas since Mitch Mustain started against Utah State in 2006. That was in the soap opera era of Arkansas football. And speaking of folks named Connor, Connor Limpert has now made 10 consecutive field goals for Arkansas.

We were 8-2 on the picks last week to bring the record to 54-15 for the season.

Here are the picks for this Saturday’s games:

Arkansas 31, Vanderbilt 30 — This is probably the only realistic shot at a Southeastern Conference victory for the Razorbacks in 2018. Vanderbilt comes in with a record of 3-5 overall and 0-4 in the SEC. The wins have been by scores of 35-7 over Middle Tennessee, 41-10 over Nevada and 31-27 over Tennessee State. The losses have been by scores of 22-17 to Notre Dame, 37-14 to South Carolina, 41-13 to Georgia, 37-27 to Florida and 14-7 to Kentucky.

Louisiana-Lafayette 29, Arkansas State 27 — The Red Wolves improved to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in Sun Belt Conference play with a 51-35 victory over Georgia State (3-5, 1-2) in a Thursday night game in Jonesboro last week. The ASU offense went 75 yards in nine plays to score on its first possession and never looked back. Arkansas State scored 20 points in the first quarter and had 34 at the half. I still have questions about just how good this Red Wolf team is. It goes on the road Saturday to take on 3-4 Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin’ Cajuns’ three victories have been by scores of 49-17 over Grambling, 42-27 over Texas State and 66-38 over New Mexico State. The losses have come by scores of 56-10 to Mississippi State, 30-28 to Coastal Carolina, 56-14 to Alabama and 27-17 to Appalachian State. While hoping the Red Wolves will answer some questions, we’ll give a slight edge to the home team for now.

McNeese State 24, UCA 22 — The Bears improved to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in Southland Conference play with a 38-17 win in Conway over Northwestern State of Louisiana (2-5, 1-4). Meanwhile, Incarnate Word upset McNeese State, 45-17. That means that UCA, McNeese and Incarnate Word are tied for the conference lead. Redshirt quarterback Luke Hales passed for 278 yards and five touchdowns for the Bears last week. It’s never easy to win in Lake Charles, which is where UCA will be on Saturday night. McNeese is also 5-2. In addition to losing to Incarnate Word, the Cowboys fell 30-3 to Brigham Young. The five victories have been by scores of 17-14 over Northern Colorado, 51-34 over Houston Baptist, 20-10 over Nicholls State, 17-10 over Stephen F. Austin and 24-21 over Abilene Christian. Expect this to be a close game.

Grambling 39, UAPB 15 — The Golden Lions came oh so close on Saturday before falling 48-47 in two overtimes to a Mississippi Valley State team that had come into the game with an 0-5 record. UAPB is now 1-6 overall and 0-3 in SWAC play. The Golden Lions scored a touchdown to start the second overtime but missed the extra point attempt. UAPB must go on the road this week to play 3-4 Grambling. The Tigers have posted wins of 34-0 over Alabama State, 62-7 over Oklahoma Panhandle State and 34-21 over Texas Southern. The losses have been by scores of 49-17 to Louisiana-Lafayette, 34-7 to Northwestern State, 22-16 to Prairie View A&M and 33-26 to Alcorn State.

Ouachita 37, UAM 21 — Ouachita is still ranked No. 4 nationally in NCAA Division II after rolling to a 41-0 victory over 1-7 Southern Nazarene on Thursday night of last week. The Tigers, who are 8-0, lost the last time they visited Monticello in 2016 and must now take on a UAM team that’s feeling better about itself following three consecutive victories. In Ouachita’s win over the Crimson Storm, senior tailback Kris Oliver from Arkadelphia became the Great American Conference career rushing leader with 3,493 yards. Oliver had 151 yards rushing on 28 carries against Southern Nazarene. UAM is 4-4 following a 45-37 victory in Monticello over 2-6 Oklahoma Baptist. UAM quarterback Cole Sears was 21 of 38 passing in that game for 412 yards.

Southern Arkansas 34, Henderson 33 — The Murphy USA Classic on a neutral field at El Dorado should be the game of the week in the GAC. Southern Arkansas, which is ranked No. 21 nationally, bounced back from its 21-0 loss at Southeastern Oklahoma to defeat 2-6 East Central Oklahoma by a final score of 48-9 last Saturday in Magnolia. Mulerider quarterback Barrett Renner was 19 of 26 passing for 242 yards and four touchdowns for the 7-1 Muleriders. SAU led 504-206 in total offense. Henderson, however, has won four consecutive games to move to 5-3 and has enough talent to give the Muleriders problems. Freshman kicker Temo Martinez from Dardanelle hit a 40-yard field goal with five seconds remaining last Saturday afternoon in Arkadelphia to lift the Reddies to a 20-17 victory over 5-3 Southeastern Oklahoma. It wasn’t a pretty game. Henderson lost four fumbles, Southeastern’s quarterback threw four interceptions and there were a combined 17 punts.

Harding 55, East Central Oklahoma 16 — Harding can probably name the score in Ada, Okla., on Saturday afternoon. The Bisons, who are ranked No. 23 nationally this week, improved to 6-2 with a 38-7 victory over 3-5 Northwestern Oklahoma last Saturday in Searcy. Harding had 334 of its 409 yards of offense on the ground. Bison quarterback Preston Paden ran for three touchdowns.

Southeastern Oklahoma 26, Arkansas Tech 9 — Arkansas Tech is the only one of the six Arkansas schools in the GAC with a losing record. The Wonder Boys fell to 2-6 last Saturday with a 35-14 loss to 3-5 Southwestern Oklahoma. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 28-0 lead in that game. It will only get tougher this Saturday afternoon in Durant against a talented Southeastern Oklahoma squad.

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