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University of Arkansas was the first school to take the podium at SEC Media Days

Preview: Arkansas Opens season with Florida A&M

The Arkansas Razorbacks will be the first SEC team to take the field in the 2017 college football season with their home opener against Florida A&M tonight at 8.

Building Off Last Year

After an up and down 2016 campaign that ended on a sour note for Arkansas with a backbreaking 35-24 Belk Bowl loss to Virginia Tech, the Razorbacks look to start 2017 off positively. The Razorbacks ended last season with a 7-6 record, a win behind their 2015 bench mark of eight victories. The Razorbacks have really struggled within their own conference. Both in 2015 and 2016, Arkansas posted a 3-5 record against fellow SEC foes.

Dec 29, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Austin Allen (8) passes the ball during the fourth quarter against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium. Virginia Tech defeated Arkansas 35-24. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest positive for the Razorbacks is the return of their starting quarterback and explosive running back from last season. Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen appeared in all 13 games for the Razorbacks last season. 2017 will mark Allen’s second full year under center. In his freshman season, Allen ended with impressive numbers, throwing for 3,400 yards and 25 touchdowns. With a full year under his belt Allen is primed for a breakout year with Razorbacks – a breakout year Arkansas needs if they aspire to get over that hump of eight wins.

Lining up behind Allen is junior running back Devwah Whaley. Last season, Whaley split carries as the second running back behind Rawleigh Williams. Even still, Whaley accounted for 602 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. With the return of these two seasoned veterans on the offensive side of the ball, the Razorbacks are poised to do bigger and better things on offense in their 2017 campaign.

What To Look For

The biggest question mark coming into this year for the Razorbacks is the wide receiver position.  Arkansas has the running back and quarterback to be successful in the SEC. But to reach their max potential they need to find some explosion on the outside. The Razorbacks lost three of their top four targets from last season.  The only top returning target for this Arkansas team is Jared Cornelius who last season brought in 32 passes for 515 yards.  Outside of Cornelius, Arkansas will be in search of answers.  This opening game for the Razorbacks will be a major key for getting answers to these remaining questions.

Kickoff will be at 8 you can catch coverage of the game on SEC Network.

 

 

About Anthony Crum

Telecommunications Social Media and Society Major. Avid sports fan, Scott Hanson has my dream job.

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