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Arkansas vs. LSU: Tigers and Hogs, Oh My!



The Arkansas Razorbacks travel to Baton Rouge on Saturday to take on the LSU Tigers in one of the iconic landmarks in college football-Tiger Stadium. Affectionately known as Death Valley, it is where the Razorbacks’ dreams of defeating the Tigers are dead and buried. Arkansas has beaten LSU in Baton Rouge only three times since 2000. LSU is currently ranked 13th in the College Football Dawgs Top 25 Poll.


Broadcast Information

Date: Saturday, September 23, 2023

Time: 6 PM CST

Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA (capacity= 102,321)

T.V.: ESPN


The Stakes

This is the Battle for the Golden Boot, which is currently displayed proudly and prominently in Baton Rouge, courtesy of LSU’s 13-10 win over the Razorbacks in Fayetteville last season. It is also the first SEC game for Arkansas as they are coming off a 38-31 loss to BYU. LSU already has a leg up on SEC competition with their dominating 41-14 win over Mississippi State on Saturday.


Key Players-Arkansas

As QB K.J. Jefferson goes, so goes the Arkansas Razorbacks. Jefferson has completed 55 of 77 passes (71%) for 629 yards, six TDs, one INT, and one rushing touchdown. Against BYU, Jefferson was 24 of 35 for 247 yards, one TD, and one INT. But he was sacked four times.


Jefferson leads an offense that averages 38 points per game.


On defense, the Razorbacks are led by LB Jaheim Thomas (29 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and one pass breakup) and DL Landon Jackson (11 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks).


The Razorbacks are allowing opponents just 19 points per game. Arkansas leads the SEC in sacks with 12 (tied for 7th in the FBS) and is 11th in the country in total defense, allowing 257 yards per game.


Key Players-LSU

QB Jayden Daniels set a school record vs. Mississippi State on Saturday by completing 88% of his passes (30 of 34) for 361 yards and two touchdowns, and he added 64 yards rushing and 2 more scores. Daniels leads the SEC in passing (and 4th in the FBS) at 325 yards per game. For the season, Daniels has passed for 976 yards, eight touchdowns, and just one INT.


The LSU offense racked up 530 yards of total offense against Mississippi State. The Tigers rank 10th in the country in passing offense at 344 yards per game.


WR Malik Nabers is Daniels’ primary target. Nabers has caught 24 passes for 393 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 16 yards per catch. Against the Bulldogs, Nabers hauled in 13 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 18 yards per catch.


Another dependable target is WR Brian Thomas, Jr. Thomas has caught 20 passes for 280 yards and three TDs. He averaged 14 yards per catch over three games.


It is still running back by committee for LSU. But Kaleb Jackson is a potential star in the making. He has scored two rushing TDs as a true freshman. Against Mississippi State, Jackson channeled his “inner Herschel Walker” when he steamrolled a Bulldog defender who made the mistake of trying to tackle him on a first-down run to the left sideline.


The LSU defense shut down the Mississippi State offense on Saturday:

· 10 first downs

· 3 of 13 on 3rd down conversions

· 201 total yards

· 4 sacks

· 7 tackles for loss


Prediction

This game is always a tough, hard-fought battle. It will be the #6 nationally-ranked total offense of LSU (537 yards per game) vs. the #11 nationally-ranked total defense of Arkansas (257 yards per game). But history in Tiger Stadium does not bode well for the Hogs.


LSU 45 – Arkansas 27






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