<
>

Sugar Bowl keys

1/3/2011

Here are three keys for Arkansas in its Allstate Sugar Bowl matchup with Ohio State:

1. Create some turnovers: The Buckeyes were one of the best teams in the country this season in turnover ratio. They’re at plus-14 entering the game. They did throw 13 interceptions, but lost just two fumbles. The Hogs will go after Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and see if they can force him into mistakes. They were second in the SEC with 37 sacks and will look to get to Pryor early and not let him settle into any kind of comfort zone.

2. Win time of possession: Arkansas isn’t going to transform into a running team overnight. But as the Hogs learned earlier this season, they have to be able to run it some. If for nothing else, it helps keep the defense rested and off the field. So if the Hogs can put together some long drives and keep the football, that's going to be important in this game. Scoring quickly isn’t a problem as long you’re scoring touchdowns. But three-and-outs will be a killer against the Buckeyes.

3. Finish the game: More specifically, Arkansas needs to win the fourth quarter. That was a problem all last season and came back to haunt the Hogs this season in the Alabama and Auburn losses. But from there, the Hogs seemed to get over that hump and played much more consistently in the fourth quarter the rest of the way. Finding a running game was a big reason why, but the defense also came up with its share of key stops. This will almost certainly be a fourth-quarter game on Tuesday in the Big Easy. We’ll see if the Hogs can pick up where they left off to end the regular season and play winning football in those last 15 minutes.