Tusk to Tail: The consensus is the Hog ends an 8-game losing streak to the Aggies

Heading into the fifth game of the season, Arkansas already has more SEC wins (2) than the past three years combined.  What will the Hogs’ record be at the end of the 10-game SEC schedule?

Craig May: Who’s having fun watching Razorback football this season? I know I am. Sam Pittman and the Hogs start the season 2-2 with wins over Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Here’s a big middle finger to Lane Kiffin who thought the Ole Miss job was better than Arkansas. Arkansas got the better end of that deal. Eliah Drinkwitz you’re next. With six games left on the schedule, I see the Hogs finishing with wins over Tennessee, LSU and Missouri to end the year 5-5. They’ll be talking about Sam Pittman as coach of the year. While I’ve got the floor, here is a quick reminder to get out and vote Tuesday.

Todd Rudisill: With two wins already under the Hogs’ belt, and really three if not for the wonderful SEC officials, most fans would be okay for the year. But we are talking about Razorback fans, so no, we are not satisfied yet. Every game left on the schedule is winnable except Alabama, but it is 2020 so who knows? To even be able to type those words “every game is winnable” this season is amazing. I’m going to go 4-6 with great hopes of finishing 5-5.

Arkansas @ #8 Texas A&M
Todd Rudisill: Well here we are again. Aggie week. We’ve lost the last 8 in a row. I remember walking out of AT&T Stadium after winning the first three games thinking we own them. How quickly things turned. There have been heartbreaking losses that we all remember too fondly. The “Skipper tripper” still kills me to this day. The new mayor of Fayetteville Barry Odom has had two weeks to get ready for this Aggie offense. The Hogs haven’t allowed anyone to convert more than 40% of their third downs this season. That’s remarkable. That’s all Barry Odom. Texas A&M is fifth in the nation on converting 3rd downs, so let’s see how that plays out. A&M does not have the wide receiving corps they have had recently, so the Hogs have got to stack the box to slow down CJ Spiller. Arkansas has to get Rakeem Boyd going, and there is no better time than this week. I think Barry Odom is going to make Kellen Mond uncomfortable and miserable just like Ole Miss QB Matt Corral. The Hogs’ offense does just enough, and another streak is ended in 2020. Arkansas wins 31-27.

Sam Atkinson: The Aggies are ranked in the Top 10. They just beat Florida, but only beat Vandy by 5. While A&M managed to play with Bama for the first half, they got kicked in the second half. On paper the Aggies are a solid 12-point favorite, but on the field the heart and soul of the Wild Little Pigs will be the difference. The Hogs are building confidence every game and Odom’s defense will keep the Hogs in it until the offense starts scoring. Hogs win in a battle 31-27.

Craig May: I would love to see it, but I’m just not sure Arkansas can upset the Aggies this year.

#5 Georgia @ Kentucky
Sam Atkinson: Georgia is for real. They might have been surprised the Hogs for the first 2.5 quarters, but once they got going, they moved in a hurry. With the exception of Bama they have handled everyone in the 4th Quarter. Kentucky got the big head after beating a thought-to-be-good Tennessee team, but the vote on the Vols is still out. Kentucky will play inspired football for the first half, but second half mistakes and Bulldog defense will take over. Georgia will cover the 14.5 point spread with a 37-21 Georgia win.

Memphis @ #7 Cincinnati
Craig May: Luke Fickell’s Cincinnati Bearcats are ranked seventh in the country and are the front runner for the Group of Five spot in the New Year’s Six Bowls. The Bearcats have an outstanding rushing game lead by QB Desmond Ridder. Last week against SMU he rushed for 179 yards and three touchdowns while throwing for 126 yards and another score. I really like Memphis QB Brady White. He leads an explosive offense that can strike quickly. I’m going with Memphis in the upset here. Tigers 42, Bearcats 35

Texas @ # 6 Oklahoma State
Sam Atkinson: Texas was once again overhyped by the media and their fans. They have lost to a team they should have beaten and barely beat a couple teams they should have pounded.  The media is trying their best to get the Big 12 propped up in the national polls, but they keep getting brought back down. Oklahoma State is the one Big 12 team that has stayed steady and taken care of business. OSU is faster and more consistent The Cowboys will cover the spread with a 44-34 win in Stillwater.

LSU @ Auburn
Craig May: What’s happened to LSU, didn’t they just win the National Championship? Their offense has been OK this season but QB Myles Brennan missed the South Carolina game and will not play Saturday. Freshman TJ Finley stepped in and completed 17 of 25 passes for 256 yards in blowout win. How many breaks can Auburn get in a season? They can thank the SEC Officials for wins over Arkansas and Ole Miss. Tank Bigsby has really provided a spark for the Auburn running attack with three straight 100-yard games. Both teams are inconsistent, with the LSU defense giving up 5 yards a carry over the last several games. I’m going with Auburn 28, LSU 24.

Todd Rudisill: Is there a luckier, more protected team than Auburn? They should easily be 1-4, but thanks to a replay that wasn’t overturned and a replay that didn’t happen, they are 3-2. LSU rolls into town off a win over mediocre South Carolina team. Auburn QB Bo Nix looked a lot better last week against Ole Miss. Running back Tank Bigsby is everything his name says. LSU might have to start a freshman QB on the road for the first time since Brennan is still questionable. Tigers win 33-27. After further review I will let the SEC decide which Tigers.

#3 Ohio State @ # 18 Penn State
Sam Atkinson: Penn State lost a heartbreaker last week, and may have lost some confidence. They will come out and play toe-to-toe with the Buckeyes until the second quarter before OSU scores at will and jumps out to a three-touchdown lead. While I really don’t like Ohio State going back to the Tattoo Bowl in New Orleans versus the Hogs, in the end OSU is the better team. Buckeyes win 55-27.

Editor’s note: Now in its ninth 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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