No. 15 Arkansas vs. Missouri State, 7 p.m. Saturday (Pay-per-view)
Series: Arkansas leads 6-0.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Arkansas reached its first BCS bowl game last season, losing to
Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. The core of that team returns this
season with one notable exception -- quarterback Ryan Mallett.
Junior Tyler Wilson is set to make his first start since high
school, and expectations are high for Mallett's former understudy.
How Wilson performs in the season opener will determine just how
high Arkansas' overall expectations should be.
Arkansas's wide receivers vs. Missouri State's secondary. The
Razorbacks' top four receivers (Joe Adams, Greg Childs, Cobi
Hamilton and Jarius Wright) combined for 170 catches for 2,882
yards last season. All return this season and figure to completely
overmatch the Bears' secondary as well as giving Wilson plenty of
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Arkansas: RB Ronnie Wingo. Following Knile Davis' season-ending
ankle injury during fall camp, Wingo figures to be the primary rushing option for the Razorbacks. The junior hasn't met expectations so far in his career, rushing for just 253 yards last season, but Davis' injury could provide just the right opportunity.
Missouri State: RB Chris Douglas. The senior rushed for 1,051
yards and scored 11 touchdowns last season, but he's facing an
experienced Arkansas defense that returns seven starters.
FACTS & FIGURES
Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino is 7-0 in season openers as a head
coach, including a 48-10 win over Missouri State in 2009 ...
Arkansas' No. 15 preseason ranking is the school's highest since
being ranked No. 14 in 1990 ... Three Southeastern Conference
schools, including Arkansas, open their seasons against Football
Championship Subdivision opponents -- including Vanderbilt against
Elon and Tennessee against Montana ... Missouri State was picked to
finish ninth in the preseason Missouri Valley Football Conference,
the first time the Bears have been picked last in the league's
preseason poll since 1987.