FAYETTEVILLE – This week we continue our look at a team-by-team opponent analysis of the Arkansas football schedule. Today is Week 9.

FAYETTEVILLE – This week we continue our look at a team-by-team opponent analysis of the Arkansas football schedule. Today is Week 9.


It was when Arkansas played their Week 9 opponent last season the nation really began to look notice of what coach Bret Bielema was doing in Fayetteville in his second year.


The Hogs beat then No. 7-ranked Ole Miss, 30-0, for their second straight SEC shutout and clinching bowl eligibility.


Arkansas and the Rebels play a little earlier in the season this year – last year’s was the penultimate regular season game – but still late enough either team’s fate could hang on the outcome.


Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze has increased his win total in each of his seasons in Oxford, but he’s breaking in a new quarterback. The flip side is he’s bringing back a good chunk of the No. 1-ranked defense in the country.


Ole Miss is the second-to-last road trip Arkansas has to make and the first, following last week’s Tennessee-Martin game, of a four-game stretch to signal the finale of the year. A win could again propel the Razorbacks to great heights.


Ole Miss Rebels


Southeastern Conference


Last Year: 9-4 (5-3 in SEC)


Plays Arkansas: November 7 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi


By the Numbers


Scoring Offense: 28.3 points per game (70th in FBS, 11th)


Rushing Offense: 155.46 yards per game (75th, 10th)


Passing Offense: 263.6 yards per game (38th, 5th)


Scoring Defense: 16.0 points per game (1st, 1st)


Rushing Defense: 136.92 yards per game (29th, 5th)


Passing Defense: 192.1 yards per game (16th, 3rd)


Offense:


How many teams are preseason top 10 and don’t know their starting quarterback by the middle of the summer? You can probably count the total over the last 10 years on your fingers. But count Ole Miss as one of them. The Rebels have the best wide receiver in the league, LaQuan Treadwell, the best tight end, Evan Engram, and the best offensive tackle, Laremy Tunsil. If the signal-caller can minimize the "Bad" Bo Wallace-type mistakes that plagued the offense last year, the offense is certain to be better than 70th in FBS in scoring.


Defense:


If you want to start with the weakness – probably the only one the team has – it’s in the secondary. Mike Hilton is the only starter returning from a group that lost two All-Americans and was 16th in the country at defending the pass. But the hope is Robert Nkemdiche, probably the best defensive tackle in college football, and his cohorts on the line will create enough havoc the secondary will have all the help it needs. Linebacker C.J. Johnson is the only guarantee at that position, but he’s a third-team All-SEC type.


This is part eight of 12 looks at each of the Arkansas football team opponents this fall. The series continues Wednesday with LSU