The LSU Tigers (7-2) face the Arkansas Razorbacks (5-4) on Saturday in what is the very definition of a trap game. Here are the three keys that will help LSU continue its momentum with a win after its heroic victory over Alabama.
By Steve Wright
Win the Running Battle
These are two teams that win when they run the ball well. LSU is 6-0 when rushing at 4.7 yards per carry or more, and the Hogs are 5-2 when rushing for more than four yards each time they tote the rock. LSU had huge issues rushing against Tennessee, but Alabama and Ole Miss fell to the Tigers as they could run the ball and control the clock. The backs – and the quarterback – can all run the ball well, mainly because the LSU offensive line is dominant when run-blocking. Arkansas runs the ball well enough to be a threat, especially when you consider Alabama just went for 4.6 yards per carry against this LSU squad.
Avoid the Emotional Letdown
We have seen the trap game in college football happen many times before. This is a week when Brian Kelly will earn his paycheck at LSU. The Alabama win was massive – especially the way it happened on the gutsiest of two-point conversion calls – and an emotional letdown is inevitable. Death Valley was rocking from the start last weekend, but this contest in Fayetteville is one where the LSU team will have to bring their energy. The Tigers lost their only game of the year so far that kicked off at noon, so the ability of Kelly to get his players hyped to play is going to be tested in the first couple of quarters.
Test Arkansas Deep
Running the ball is important to keep Arkansas honest, but LSU blows this open by pushing the ball deep. Jayden Daniels and his targets can go off against a secondary that is giving up over 300 yards passing a game and ranks second to last in the league in passing yards allowed per contest, ahead of only Vanderbilt. Drew Sanders at linebacker will be a problem – he has 7.5 sacks on the season – but if Daniels gets time, then the deep ball will be there.
Game time on Saturday is 11:00 AM CT (12:00 PM ET). You can watch this SEC football game on the ESPN Network.