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UA vs. MSU: Four keys to success

The Arkansas Razorbacks ring the bell when they achieve outstanding performances.

Hawgs247 takes a look at four things Arkansas (4-6, 2-4 SEC) needs to get right in today's 11:21 a.m. Central game against Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3) at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss.

1. No turnovers for Tyler The Hogs can’t afford to have senior quarterback Tyler Wilson keep throwing interceptions. He has five in the past three games, including two last week vs. South Carolina. If the Razorbacks want to go to a bowl game, they have to pull off the unlikely feat of winning out, and you simply don’t do that by throwing this many picks.

2. Improved pass protection Two of the keys to avoiding interceptions are giving Wilson time to throw and giving him confidence that he’ll have time to throw. If he and Cobi Hamilton can start clicking, the Hogs – six-point underdogs – have a chance to extend the Bulldogs’ three-game losing streak. Mississippi State doesn’t have a ton of sacks, but expect the Bulldogs to be blitz-heavy.

3. Avoid coverage breakdowns Arkansas’ freshmen were picked on by South Carolina last week in the passing game. No doubt, Mississippi State junior quarterback Tyler Russell, who’s been solid this season, will try to do the same.

4. Create opportunities for the offense Whether it be on special teams or with turnovers on defense, the Hogs need to help the offense be in a position to succeed. Maybe changes in the return game will help with this. True freshman D’Arthur Cowan of Olive Branch, Miss., will return kickoffs today for the first time. And senior Kaelon Kelleybrew will return punts for the first time in a college game. On the flip side of that, the Razorbacks need to hope the inexperienced return men don't make crucial mistakes that put the offense in a bad spot.

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