The Arkansas Razorbacks (5-4) host the LSU Tigers (7-2) in Fayetteville on Saturday, looking to bounce back from a frustrating and shocking loss to (an admittedly good) Liberty Flames squad.
By Steve Wright
Here are the three keys to what would be a massive bounce-back win:
Rush Better than LSU
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. 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. The Hogs can’t churn out the 144 yards they did against Liberty last week – which was the low mark this season – and expect to win. Improvement in the running game will give Arkansas a shot.
A Fast Start is Vital
The Tigers are in a classic trap game situation here. Their win over Alabama had everything possible in an emotional college football game – a walk-off win in a packed Death Valley at night against a massive rival as the underdog – and it is hard to bounce back from that the next week. This is a noon kickoff in Fayetteville, and the Hogs must be ready to blast out of the gate. If Arkansas can get up by 10 points or more early, they will be able to dominate the tempo of the game and suck out any life that Brian Kelly has managed to instill in his team this week.
Drew Sanders’ Big Day
Aransas can’t stop anyone from passing the ball. Only Vanderbilt is worse than the Hogs in the SEC in passing yards allowed per game, with teams averaging over 300 yards through the air. One way to slow down an LSU air attack is by getting to the quarterback, something that Drew Sanders has been great at this season. Sanders has 7.5 sacks on the year, and he will have to get pressure on Jayden Daniels at key points to stop LSU from hitting explosive plays.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 11:00 AM CT (12:00 PM ET). You can watch this SEC football game on the ESPN Network.