Matchup: #17 LSU at Arkansas (-1.5, 48.5 at JustBet)
Date/Time: Saturday, November 15th @ 8:00 pm (EST)
Location: Fayetteville, AR (airing on ESPN2)
Preview: One of the more intriguing matchups this weekend will be the LSU Tigers traveling to Fayetteville, Arkansas to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks for the Battle of the Golden Boot.
The 7-3 LSU Tigers are currently ranked #17 in the nation and are coming off an emotional loss at home to Alabama. The Tigers had a 13–10 lead only to see Alabama tie it up with three seconds left with a field goal to force overtime. The tigers subsequently came up empty-handed any extra session as they failed on four straight pass attempts to fall 20–13. The Tigers offense is based solely on the running game as they’re averaging 221.4 yards per game behind Leonard Fournette who has rust for 736 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Sophomore Anthony Jennings their quarterback is having his growing pains the season and is completing less than 50% of his passes for 1266 yards with 9 touchdowns and 6 touchdowns. LSU’s defense is one of the better units in the country allowing 317.8 yards per game, and allowing 4.85 yards per play. The Tigers are number 1 in the nation into passing efficiency defense, and are allowing just 163.5 yards passing per game.
Judging by last season’s performance, the Arkansas Razorbacks are definitely improving. The Razorbacks are 4–5, and still have yet to snap a 17 game conference losing streak. The Razorbacks have been quite competitive in the last couple games. They lost 35–28 in overtime against Texas A&M, then were quite competitive against Alabama but due to a botched extra point they lost 14–13 to the Crimson Tide. Two weeks ago, they lost to top ranked Mississippi State on 17–10, and failed to capitalize on three Mississippi State turnovers. The strength of the Arkansas offense is the running game, where they’re averaging 248.2 yards per game behind junior Jonathan Williams and sophomore Alex Collins, Who have combined for 1717 yards and 20 touchdowns. Both backs are averaging more than 6 yards per carry. Junior quarterback Brandon Allen has passed for 1736 yards completing 57.8% of his passes with 15 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. The Arkansas defense has been decent this year alone 5.76 yards per play and 364.8 yards per game.
I really like the Arkansas Razorbacks in this spot. They’ve had their chances to snap their SEC losing streak this season but have fell short. I feel that this weekend they snap that streak. LSU is coming off two high-profile games. They knocked off Ole Miss three weeks ago, had a bye week, then lost in heartbreaking fashion to rival Alabama. LSU thought that they had the game won, yet Alabama forced overtime and won in the extra session. Not only did they lose to Alabama but they lost their shot to win the SEC West and a chance at the SEC title. I have to wonder where the motivation will be for LSU. Meanwhile in Fayetteville, the Razorbacks are coming off a bye and need to win two out of their next three games to become bowl eligible. I’m backing the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday; I think they finally get an SEC win for head coach Brett Bielema against an LSU team that will be lacking motivation.
2014 Week 12 NCAA Football Pick: Arkansas -1.5, Over 48.5
LSU vs Arkansas Score Prediction: Arkansas 28 – LSU 24