The college football season is already upon us and there’s several exciting matchups to look out for in the opening week. Arkansas and Cincinnati will play each other in Fayetteville, AR on Saturday in what should be a great game. Both teams return great players and both coaches have built respectable programs. But only one can win on Saturday. Who will it be?
Arkansas vs Cincinnati Prediction
This might be the matchup of the week, as both teams are highly talented, but also evenly matched. Arkansas brings back star QB KJ Jefferson, a stable of running backs, and four out of five starters on the offensive line. Meanwhile, coming off a playoff appearance, Cincy has some question marks, as they have to replace nine draft picks. However, they do return all five starters on the offensive line, along with a solid linebacking corps. The big question will be who Cincy starts in the game at QB. Will it be Evan Prater or Ben Bryant?
Both teams will want to establish their ground game in order to take pressure off their unknown units. This is especially the case for Arkansas, as Kendal Briles uses wide splits to prevent safeties and cornerbacks from creeping in the box. However, both teams have great linebacking corps that do a good job cleaning up the run. If the linebackers are able to stop the run, then both teams will have to rely on their passing attack more than they wish.
If it becomes a passing game, I believe Arkansas has the clear advantage. KJ Jefferson is an experienced QB and is one of the best at hitting receivers on vertical shots. Meanwhile, the Bearcats are breaking in a new QB in a ruckus environment, which isn’t conducive to a good passing game.
I expect the Hogs to pull this one out due to Jefferson’s experience and the home crowd advantage.