TideSports College Football Preview

After seeing improvement in each of their first three seasons under Bret Bielema, the Arkansas Razorbacks took a step back during the 2016 season. Arkansas was two games worse in conference and won one fewer game, finishing at 7-6.

Coach Bret Bielema feels good about his team moving forward, saying he believes the program is in a good position. The Razorbacks have come a long way from when Bielema took over the program in 2013.

“Obviously, the end of last season was a unique situation for me,” Bielema said during SEC media days in the summer. “In fact, even when we went 3-9, which I’ve never had a losing season in my career, other than the first year at Arkansas, I felt at the end of the year we were getting better at moving in the right direction. And last year, our last two games were not highlights, especially the way they both ended.”

Arkansas lost at Missouri and to Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl to close out last season.

The Razorbacks will look to improve on a 25-26 conference record under Bielema.

One of the keys will be quarterback Austin Allen. The senior will look to build on a 2016 season where he passed for 3,340 yards with 25 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

“Austin has done some pretty good things,” Bielema said.“There’s some things he has to do better. We had conversations about that. I wouldn’t do anything but truly sit back and watch a guy that’s going to be able to go to some heights that people never thought he would be able to do. In the end he’ll probably be the one smiling.”

Arkansas opened its season on Thursday, Aug. 31, in Little Rock against Florida A&M.

2017 Schedule
Aug. 31; Florida A&M*
Sept. 9; TCU
Sept. 23; Texas A&M+
Sept. 30; New Mexico State
Oct. 7; at South Carolina
Oct. 14; at Alabama
Oct. 21; Auburn
Oct. 28; at Ole Miss
Nov. 4; Coastal Carolina
Nov. 11; at LSU
Nov. 18; Mississippi State
Nov. 25; Missouri
* Little Rock, Arkansas
+ Arlington, Teas

2016 Record: 7-6 (3-5 Conf./T-5th in SEC West)
All-time SEC championships: 0
Bowl appearances: 42 (15-24-3)

2016 Results
Sept. 3; Louisiana Tech; W 21-20
Sept. 10; at TCU; W 41-38
Sept. 17; Texas State; W 42-3
Sept. 24; Texas A&M; L 24-45
Oct. 1; Alcorn State; W 52-10
Oct. 8; Alabama; L 30-49
Oct. 15; Ole Miss; W 34-30
Oct. 22; at Auburn; L 3-56
Nov. 5; Florida; W 31-10
Nov. 12; LSU; L 10-38
Nov. 19; at Mississippi State; W 58-42
Nov. 25; at Missouri; L 24-28
Dec. 31; vs. Virginia Tech*; L 24-35
* Belk Bowl

Starters Returning: 12
Offense: 6
Defense: 5
Specialty: 1

Starters Lost: 12
Offense: 5
Defense: 6
Specialty: 1