Mississippi State, Arkansas eyeing first SEC win

Mississippi State is refreshed after having an open date last week. Arkansas is happy to be home for the first time in five weeks. Both teams will be looking for their first Southeastern Conference win when they meet Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark. The Razorbacks (2-5, 0-4) have lost five straight games, including three against ranked opponents by a total of just 13 points, during their out-of-town stretch. “It’s going to be great to be home,” Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said. “Obviously we need a win.” The Razorbacks’ last home game was a 38-31 loss to BYU on Sept. 16. They lost 24-21 at No. 11 Alabama on Saturday. “I just hope that we learn from (the losing streak) as coaches,” Pittman said. “I hope it’s made us stronger. That’s yet to be determined until we get out there and play Mississippi State.” The game against the Bulldogs (3-3, 0-3) begins a stretch of four home games in five weeks to conclude the regular season. “I feel like if we just keep getting better each week that we can make a run at the end of the season,” Pittman said. Mississippi State hasn’t played since a 41-28 home victory against Western Michigan two weeks ago. Its last SEC game was a 40-17 home loss against Alabama on Sept. 30. It has played just one road game — a 37-30 loss at South Carolina on Sept. 23. “The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for us,” Bulldogs coach Zach Arnett said. Arnett said “I have no update” on two key injured players — quarterback Will Rogers and running back Jo’quavious Marks. Mike Wright has served as a change of pace to Rogers’ drop-back passing and stepped in after Rogers was hurt against Western Michigan. “There’s things we do with Mike that are structured more for him,” Arnett said. “When he’s in we’re going to play to the strengths of the personnel.”