2022-09-03 17.33.20Ark Vs Cinn

Tusk to Tail: Seeking hope for the Hogs against LSU? It ain’t here.

What do you think about the Razorbacks basketball team this year?

Craig: This is one of the more talented teams we’ve had at Arkansas. Give Coach Musselman credit; he’s one of the most aggressive recruiters in the country pulling in top talent from the high school ranks and the transfer portal. Devo Davis is the only player returning from last year’s team that played significant minutes. Nick Smith, Anthony Black and Jordon Walsh are elite freshman that Musselman can use in multiple spots on the court to facilitate the offense. Transfers Jalen Graham and Trevon Brazile will add size, athleticism and defensive prowess that was lacking on last year’s team. There’s a lot of new faces on this team, so expect growing pains early. Like most Musselman-coached teams, it might take a few weeks to set the rotation and get the players to buy in. There’s no reason this team can’t contend for an SEC title and a high seed in the NCAA Tournament. The talent is there to get past the Elite Eight. Let’s see if these newcomers can put it together.

Todd: I went to the opener Monday night and was impressed with their defense. The Hogs played at an elite level even without Nick Smith Jr. It was a solid 18-point win which was never in doubt. The Hogs finally got a true point guard, but unfortunately, he is hurt to start the most anticipated season since the 90s. There will be ups and downs like all of Coach Muss teams have early, but just wait until March. Let this team find itself and get a chance to gel, and those top 7-8 players he can count on will emerge. Muss knows what he is doing with back-to-back Elite Eights to prove it. A third is definitely attainable, and with some luck, they can make it to the last weekend in Houston. It will be a fun season to watch, that is for sure.

Forrest: The injury to Nick Smith sure put a damper on the season opener for the Hogs. It’s not easy to replace a five-star point guard a week before the season starts. It was even more nerve racking to see Anthony Black and Trevor Brazile go down with rolled ankles. Need to get them boys some braces! I am cautiously optimistic about this team. Could make a Final Four run, could get eliminated opening weekend. As long as they stay healthy, I think they have a good shot of ending up in Houston in April.

#7 LSU @ Arkansas
Todd: If you would have told me the Hogs would hold Liberty to 21 points last week, I would have bet the house they won. That’s why I stopped betting. I have not seen our line get whipped like that since the Georgia game last season. On to LSU who played by far their best game of the year last week beating Alabama. The Hogs are 2-1 in early kickoffs this season. In the 11 times the Hogs have beaten LSU since joining the SEC, five of those teams were unranked when beating a ranked LSU. Does that mean anything Saturday? Probably not, but we will take anything we can get. The question all week has been just how hurt is KJ Jefferson? Jefferson was just not himself last week and the coaches would not make the change to a healthy Malik Hornby. The players have said they believe in Malk but do the coaches? You may see Hornsby start, or a mix of both QBs. If the real Arkansas offense shows up this week, it will be a shootout. If not, LSU wins big. I’m going with a shootout, but in favor of the Tigers 34-28.

Craig: Maybe the early kickoff will help the Hogs against LSU on Saturday. If the Razorbacks have any hope of making this a game, they have to stop the run. LSU is 6-0 this season when they average 4.5 yards a carry. The big question for Arkansas Saturday is how healthy is KJ Jefferson? My sense is he’s banged up. LSU 34, Arkansas 17.

#22 UCF @ #16 Tulane
Forrest: If the rain doesn’t stop the offenses, this should be a shootout. The highflying spread of Malzahn verses the modern shotgun triple option of Willie Fritz. I like the 2017 National Champions to squeak one out on the road.

#10 Alabama @ #11 Ole Miss
Craig: Last week’s game between Alabama and LSU felt like a changing of the guard in the SEC West. How down is Alabama going to be on Saturday when they take on the Ole Miss Rebels? The Tide has lost two of the last three and have not been impressive on the road. Ole Miss should be able to keep this game close, but Bryce Young will be the difference for Alabama. Bama 34, Ole Miss 28

Todd: Hell, if Lane Kiffin beats Bama, the crazy Tide fan base may burn Saban at the stake and demand they hire Kiffin before their arch rival Auburn does. It’s a Bama bounce-back, 31-28.

#24 Washington @ #6 Oregon
Forrest: This could finally be the Heisman moment that people have talked about with Bo Nix for the past four years. Washington has been trending up in the past few weeks, but I think the Ducks at home in Autzen Stadium will be tough to get past. Gimme the Ducks, and for entertainment purposes only, take them to cover the -13.5-point spread.

#4 TCU @ #18 Texas
David: TCU is one of only four Power 5 teams still unbeaten this late in the season. Win out, and it’s hard to keep them out of the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Horned Frogs, Coach Sonny Dykes has become known for November collapses. This seems like the spot for another. Texas takes this one 35-27.

#1 Georgia @ Mississippi State
Forrest: Could this be a trap game for Georgia? They got a huge victory last week against the hottest team in college football and now they go to dirty Starkvegas for a showdown with Mike Leach. I think the offense for Georgia will be too much for the Miss State defense to contain, but don’t count out the effects those darn cowbells have on visiting teams. Rain in the forecast doesn’t exactly bode well for Miss State’s air raid offense either. Give me Georgia outright.

Editor’s note: Now in its 11th year, Tusk to Tail is the sport of tailgating as organized, performed and perfected by a group of Hog fans who have been tailgating together sober and otherwise for more than a decade. The primary focus of Tusk to Tail will be to follow the Hogs through the fans’ perspective with their insightful, irreverent, smart-alecky and sometimes practical style. The diehards may also be followed on their Facebook page. Or follow the crew on Twitter and Instagram, all @TuskToTail.

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