FIVE KEYS TO TODAY’S GAME

FIVE KEYS TO TODAY’S GAME


1. Tackle in Space


Texas Tech wants to put the ball in the hands of its playmakers on the edge. So Arkansas’ defensive backs and linebackers must meet the challenge. Strong tackling will be critical to Arkansas’ success.


2. Run and Score


Arkansas plans to slow Texas Tech’s offense by controlling the clock with its rushing attack. It’s a good plan as long as the ground game leads to touchdowns. Arkansas needs quality drives that produce points.


3. Curb Turnovers, Penalties


Arkansas has limited turnovers and penalties through two games and the clean play must continue on the road. Giving Texas Tech more snaps and more chances to score is a recipe for disaster in Lubbock.


4. Put Pressure on Webb


Texas Tech quarterback Davis Webb hasn’t been sacked this season. The Red Raiders’ system, which gets the ball out of his hands quick, is one reason. But the Hogs must find a way to harass the QB.


5. Special Teams Success


Arkansas wants to run the ball behind its offensive line. Texas Tech wants to pass it in its up-tempo plan. Both offenses are good at what they do. So the deciding factor today could be big plays on special teams.


TODAY’S KEY MATCHUP


Arkansas defensive backs


Key Statistics: Allowing 250.2 passing yards in two games.


Arkansas’ defensive backs are two weeks removed from a rough performance at Auburn. The Tigers attacked the Razorbacks through the air, turning in a handful of big plays in the passing game during their 45-21 win. The secondary will get another chance to show it has improved from the struggles at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders don’t have the same size at wide receiver as Auburn, but do have plenty of talent. The good news for Arkansas is that it should be at full strength with Tevin Mitchel and De’Andre Coley returning from injuries to contribute to a group.


Texas Tech wide receivers


Key Statistics: Averaging 365 receiving yards in two games.


The Texas Tech receiving corps has enjoyed a productive start and expect even more success against the Razorbacks. Senior Bradley Marquez has 14 catches for 217 yards and leads the NCAA with five touchdown receptions. Jakeem Grant, a Biletnikoff Award candidate, also has 14 catches for 198 yards. The two lead a group that also includes Reginald Davis (8 catches, 107 yards, TD) and DJ Polite-Bray (4 catches, 35 yards). Texas Tech should have four receivers on the field throughout most of today’s game and the group will test Arkansas’ ability to cover and tackle.


EDGE: Texas Tech wide receivers


POSITION MATCHUPS


Quarterbacks


UA’s Brandon Allen completed four passes, all for touchdowns in last week’s rout; Texas Tech’s Davis Webb has thrown for 730 yards, 7 touchdowns in two games.


Edge: Texas Tech


Running Backs


Alex Collins, Jonathan Williams topped 100 yards in the same game for the fourth time; Texas Tech freshman Justin Stockton had 135 yards on 8 carries last week.


Edge: Arkansas


Receivers


UA’s Keon Hatcher pulled in a 50-yard touchdown catch in last week’s win; Texas Tech’s Brad Marquez and Jakeem Grant average 207.5 receiving yards a game.


Edge: Texas Tech


O-Line


UA’s big front has paved the way for a ground game averaging an NCAA-best 9.4 yards a carry; Texas Tech’s line has not allowed a sack in 83 passing attempts.


Edge: Arkansas


D-Line


UA’s Taiwan Johnson leads team with 4 TFLs and is tied for second in the NCAA in sacks (3 ½); Texas Tech DT Keland McElrath is second on the team in tackles (12).


Edge: Arkansas


Linebackers


UA linebackers Martrell Spaight (13) and Brooks Ellis (12) lead team in tackles; Texas Tech senior Kenny Williams has 10 tackles in his first season on defense.


Edge: Even


Secondary


UA expects to have CB Tevin Mitchel and S De’Andre Coley back from injury to contribute; Texas Tech’s young secondary is led by safety Keenon Ward (15 tackles).


Edge: Texas Tech


OVERALL: Arkansas 31, Texas Tech 30