This game marks the very first time that the Razorbacks have made a BCS bowl appearance. The outcome of this game will heavily weigh on the performance of junior Quarterback Ryan Mallett.
Mallett's freshman and sophomore years were not that great. In fact, his completion percentage was not even close to par for an NCAA starting quarterback. However, this year, under a much improved offensive line and run game, Mallett has appeared much better. Mallett will have a nice supporting cast in this evenings game but they'll certainly have their work cut out against a very, very good Ohio State Buckeye team tonight.
The Buckeye's have had a few side acts with a few players. Terrelle Pryor and company will be suspended for five games next year but will be allowed to play in tonights match ups.
So far the Big Ten has had problems winning in the '10-'11 bowl games. The Buckeyes represent the top tier of that particular conference. They have been one of the power-houses of the Big Ten for some time now. Ohio State was in the Sugar Bowl in 2008 against the SEC LSU Tigers and were unable to come out with the victory. They will have a chance to avenge that loss tonight.
If I were a betting man, I would be hard pressed to lay down any money on either team. They are both very good, and very good on not only one, but both sides of the ball.
Last years Sugar Bowl was pretty much a blowout as it was Tim Tebow's last game at Florida. It didn't help that coach Kelly, who is now the coach at Notre Dame, decided that he would bail on his players and not coach them in their last game. Whether it had an impact or not is neither here or there now, but Florida dominated Cincinnati for most of the game. The final score was 51-24. Hopes for this years bowl game would be for a much more exciting game since there have not been too many so far this year.
There were several players that wound up being drafted shortly after that from last years Sugar Bowl, and I would expect the same in the upcoming draft. After the break, we'll highlight some of the key-players in tonights game.
#6 OHIO STATE BUCKEYES VS. #8 ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS
PLAYERS TO WATCH FOR THE BUCKEYES: Terrelle Pryor - QB, Brandon Saine - RB, Dan Herron - RB, DeVier Posey -WR, Mike Adams - OT, Michael Brewster - C, Chimdi Chekwa, CB, Devon Torrence - CB, Cameron Heyward - DE
Summary: Most eyes will be closely glued to pro prospect Ryan Mallett. While there are many of people on either side of the fence when it comes to Mallett's talent and how it will transfer to the next level, the pressure is certainly on. There will be no game bigger than this one in Mallett's college career that will have a major impact on his future. Terrelle Pryor has a chance to carve out another chunk of his legacy at Ohio State and make people forget a bit about his recent troubles. Overall, I am just ready to finally see a very exciting and good college bowl game. Arkansas will have a majority of their fans, so in a sense, it will be like a home game for the Razorbacks.
Coverage: ESPN/ ESPN 3/ ESPN