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Hot Read: Arkansas Slows State

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Arkansas holds off Mississippi State 21-14.

1. After Mike Leach and Mississippi State where the story of the SEC in week one, it's now Sam Pittman and Arkansas in week two. What a win for the Razorbacks. Arkansas was able to turn Saturday's game into a defensive slugfest, with turnovers and timely plays proving to be the difference. This is a major momentum builder for Pittman and the Razorbacks against a team that played like one of the nation's best in its last outing.

2. Arkansas' defense did a great job. They forced three interceptions of Mississippi State quarterback K.J. Costello, with Greg Brooks opening the score on a 69-yard pick six. The Razorbacks held Costello to only 313 yards through the air, close to half of what he did in his record-setting performance against LSU. Most impressively, Arkansas limited the big plays. Costello averaged merely 5.3 yards per pass attempt.

3. Feleipe Franks played a key role in the upset victory. His steady play under center was more impactful than even his good box score showing indicates: 20-of-28, 212 yards, two touchdowns and zero turnovers. Transferring in from Florida, Franks gives Arkansas a proven veteran at the game's most important position. He deserves a lot of credit for Saturday's win. 

4. The win was a breakout game for De'Vion Warren, with four receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown. His big play ability was a game-changer. Warren and Hudson Henry are part of a notable collection of pass-catchers for Arkansas.

5. Turnovers were arguably the difference for Mississippi State. Three interceptions from K.J. Costello were quite costly, one of which was returned the other way for a touchdown. The Bulldogs also missed star Kylin Hill, who was injured early in the game.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports