Since 2011, LSU is 3-2 over Arkansas and has won those games by an average margin of victory of 11.6 points per game. However, the last two games in the series has been won by Arkansas by 17 points each (17-0 in Fayetteville in 2014 and 31-14 in 2015 in Baton Rouge). Both of those losses came directly after LSU losing to Alabama.
The Tigers are averaging 26 points per game and have relied mainly on the rushing attack that is averaging 214 yards per game this season. LSU is passing for 172 yards per game through the air and has not been able to stretch opposing defenses vertically in their three losses on the season (Wisconsin, Auburn and Alabama).
Quarterback Danny Etling has filled in for former starter Brandon Harris, but has not been the saving grace LSU fans had hoped for. Etling has completed 58% of his passes for 1,221 with 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He has not stepped up in the Tigers two losses in the conference this year and must be able to stretch the Razorbacks secondary on the road Saturday night to open up running lanes for Derius Guice and Leonard Fournette.
Guice and Fournette have combined for 1,334 rushing yards with both players averaging over 7.0 yards per carry with 12 touchdowns. Both players will look to pound the rock against a solid defensive front seven in Arkansas.
The main question is where is the emotional mindset of this team after their disheartening loss to the top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide?
Coach Ed Ogeron is still hoping for the job and will look to have this team focused to erase the bad memories from last week. However, in order to do that, the team must utilize wide receivers Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre in the passing game to take advantage of their athleticism. Both players have combined for 51 receptions with 554 yards with 3 touchdowns and have the speed to take the top off of the defense.
Defensively, the Tigers are giving up 14 points per game and are very solid in run support giving up 118 rushing yards per game to opposing offenses. The secondary is allowing 196 passing yards per game and has held opposing offenses to 33% conversions on third downs this year.
LSU is even in turnover margin and has recorded 21 sacks through the first 8 games of the season.
The Razorbacks are coming off of an impressive home win over the Florida Gators and will look to keep the momentum going this weekend at home. Arkansas is averaging 30 points per game and is rushing for 167 yards per game along with passing for 254 yards per game through the air.
Quarterback Austin Allen is completing 61% of his passes for 2,291 yards with 19 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He has been inconsistent at times, but does have a strong arm to stretch LSU defense. However, the offense relies on running the football consistently which has been a concern this year. If Arkansas struggles early on, it can make Allen and the offense one dimensional which will put them into long third down situations. The offensive line has allowed 22 sacks and will have to contain LSU defensive end, Arden Key, who leads the Tigers with 8 sacks.
Running back Raleigh Williams leads the offense with 955 rushing yards averaging 5,3 yards per carry with 7 touchdowns.
Wide receiver Drew Morgan is a dependable receiver that is not afraid to work over the middle of the field on dig routes. Morgan has great hands and leads the team with 48 receptions for 515 yards with 3 scores.
Defensively, the Razorbacks are allowing 29 points per game and have been mediocre at stopping the run giving up 198 rushing yards to opposing offenses. The secondary is giving up 208 yards per game through the air and must be able to force turnovers at home like the way they did against the Gators.
Through the first nine games, the unit is even in turnover margin and is allowing 44% third down conversions to their opponents this year.
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