One of the greatest competitions in college football will be taking place in the state this week.
No, LSU is not in Arkansas.
It’s Raven Battle Week. At Carpenter-Highwood Stadium in Arkadelphia on Saturday afternoon, the No. 4 Tigers at Ouachita Baptist University will face 24th Reds at Henderson State University. Having two nationally ranked teams competing adds to the intrigue of what is always a great game.
Ouachita is 10-0 and has already wrapped up his sixth major U.S. Conference Championship in 11 seasons. Henderson is 8-2 and is looking to end a five-game losing streak in the series. Ouachita leads the overall series 45-43-6.
It is the only college football game in America where the visiting team is going for a road match. Every Arkansas should have Valley Battle on their bucket list. Departure at 2 pm
At 11 a.m. in Fayetteville, meanwhile, Arkansas will try to recover from the 21-19 loss to Liberty that made everyone remember the Chad Morris era. When KJ Jefferson was stopped near the goal line in a two-point attempt with 1:11 left, there were plenty of bad flashbacks at the Razorback.
Arkansas was favored by landing twice on a program that was only on FBS for five seasons. Liberty moved to 8-1 with her first-ever win on the Southeastern Conference team.
In Baton Rouge Saturday night, LSU stunned Alabama 32-31 in overtime. Jaden Daniels ran for 25 yards and then found Mason Taylor to convert two points to give Brian Kelly his first win over Nick Saban. This was Alabama State’s first loss in Baton Rouge since 2010.
We were 6-3 in the picks last week to take the season record to 65-19. Here are the predictions for this week’s games:
LSU 35, Arkansas 31 Razorbacks will play better this week. is it enough? Mostly not. Jefferson was 23 of 37 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns against Liberty, but he also fought the first two-interceptor game of his career. Arkansas entered the Liberty game as the No. 6 team to dash in the country, but held onto a season low at 144 yards. The Razorbacks were only four out of 16 in third, and Arkansas were kept without a first-half touchdown for the first time this season. The Hogs had 14 plays with negative yards. Some things have to change and change quickly to prevent the LSU game from getting ugly.
Ouachita 30, Henderson 24 – These games are always close by. Ouachita won last year by scoring a late 53-yard field goal. Last Saturday, the Tigers had lost 10-0 in the first quarter in Southeast Oklahoma but came back to lead 19-18 in the first half. Ouachita then beat Savage Storm 21-0 in the second half. The Tigers are headed for their fourth regular undefeated season since 2014. TJ Cole had 143 fast yards, two touchdowns and passed for another touchdown in the win. Henderson prepared for the Battle of Raven with a 51-24 crush of 1-9 Oklahoma Baptist. Quarterback Andrew Edwards was 17 of 20 passing for 268 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran eight times for 70 yards. Henderson won four games in a row.
Arkansas 39, Massachusetts 28 – It’s been a long season for Arkansas State (2-7 overall and 1-5 in Sun Belt Conference play), but there is hope this week. The Red Wolves had an open date to recover, and are now at home on Saturday afternoon against the 1-8 team from Massachusetts. UMass’ only victory was 20-3 over Stony Brook. Losses were in the tens 42-10 for Tulane, 55-10 to Toledo, 28-0 to Temple, 20-13 to Eastern Michigan, 42-24 to Liberty, 34-7 to Buffalo, 23-13 to New Mexico State and 27-10 to Connecticut.
Stephen F. Austin 23, University of California 22 – UCA dropped to 4-5 overall and 3-1 in ASUN with a 42-14 loss to Eastern Kentucky. The Bears were without running back Darius Hill, who injured his hamstring the previous week against North Alabama. UCA should be on the road this week to take on Stephen F. Austin 5-4. The Saudi Sports for All Federation won 31-27 over Alcorn State, 98-0 over Warner of Florida, 41-38 over Abilene Christian, 41-24 over Tarlton State and 41-38 over Southern Utah. Losses were in the tens of 42-17 for Jacksonville, 52-17 for Louisiana Tech, 17-16 for Sam Houston and 47-44 for Utah. In a match between teams that appear to be evenly matched, we will give a slight advantage to the home team.
Prairie View A&M 19, UAPB 10 – The UAPB, in its second game under a caretaker coach, fell 36-10 to Grambling on the road last Saturday. Golden Black is now 2-7 overall and 0-6 in SWAC play. Prairie Show is 5-4 overall and 4-2 in conference. Ten wins were 40-23 over Southern Texas, 24-15 over Alabama, 34-14 over Grambling, 54-21 over Lamar and 58-48 over Python Cockman. Losses came in scores of 21-13 for Abilene Christian, 31-14 to Word Incarnate, 45-13 to the South and 23-16 to Alcorn State.
Harding 36, Arkansas Tech 27 Harding improved to 8-2 last Saturday with a 37-29 win over Southwest Oklahoma 3-7. Jhalen Spicer had 108 yards rushing into Bison. Tech tied his record at 5-5 with a 45-20 victory over Northwestern Oklahoma. Devontae carried Dean 20 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns for the Wonder Boys.
Southern Arkansas 34, UAM 33 – Southern Arkansas fell to 4-6 when the Southern Nazarene came to Magnolia and ran away with a 49-44 win. The winning touchdown for Nasri (also 4-6) came just seven seconds before the match. UAM fell to 3-7 with a 16-0 loss to 7-3 East Central Oklahoma. It was the sixth consecutive loss for Bull Weevils.