Returning Starters – Offense: 9 Defense: 6
Preview: Arkansas showed progress in their second year under head coach Bielema, but wins in conference were tough to come by in the stacked SEC West. Arkansas was able to break through latter on in the season with home wins coming over ranked opponents LSU and Ole Miss. The Hogs are looking to make another step forward this season, especially on offense with 9 guys back on that side of the ball.
The offense brings in a new OC with Dan Enos coming on board. This is the fourth OC the Hogs have had in the last 5 years, but veteran QB Brandon Allen should be up to the task to build off of a respectable 2014. The real strength of the offense is obviously in the run game and with 4 returning O-linemen along with 1,000 yard rushers Williams and Collins. This should be one of the top rushing attacks in the nation in 2015. Arkansas returns Hatcher at WR along with a number of new faces with potential to add to a unit that should produce more this season.
Arkansas made a huge leap on the defensive side of the ball last season and the Hogs are just hoping not to regress on this side of the ball to back up an offense that has a lot of potential. Arkansas is solid up front with star in the making Taiwan Johnson moving over to DT. The Hogs have to replace leading tackler Spaight at LB and Ellis will look to take on that role along with some other recognizable faces ready to prove themselves. Arkansas has solid depth and talent returning to a formidable secondary led by Collins, Dean, and Toliver.
Prediction: Arkansas is a tough case as they should be better this season, but they still need to jump a lot of great programs in the SEC West to show gains. Arkansas will likely go undefeated in the nonconference and if they don’t get at least 4 SEC wins it’ll be a disappointing campaign for the Hogs. It’s hard to find 4 conference wins even in their crossover games coming against Tennessee and Missouri.
Projected Record: 8-4 (4-4)