LSU vs. Arkansas.
Heading into this year, many college football fans had to believe that this game would have major BCS implications.
Well, it does have have BCS implications for the LSU Tigers. No so much for the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Tyler Wilson and the Razorbacks have struggled mightily this season with a 4-7 record and just a 2-5 mark in the SEC.
Wilson, Arkansas' senior quarterback, has been one of the lone bright spots for this team this season. So, will Wilson have something special for his final game in an Arkansas uniform?
Let's break down five ways LSU's defense will put the boot on Tyler Wilson.
1. Utilize that pass rush
The Tigers have one of, if not the best pass-rushing attacks in all of college football this season.
The Tigers' defensive end duo of Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo have been great for this team and both are expected to be first-round draft picks in this April's NFL draft.
If LSU wants to make sure that Tyler Wilson dosen't beat them, they are going to have to unleash these talented defensive ends and continue to pass rush throughout this matchup.
It dosen't get much better then Mingo and Montgomery and this will be another big stage for this talented duo to show just how talented they really are.
2. Force Arkansas to run the football
Arkansas running back Knile Davis was considered by many to be a Heisman Trophy candidate heading into this 2012 college football season.
Davis has been anything but that.
The junior back has been held to just 346 yards on the ground this season and is averaging a measly 3.3 yards-per-carry. To make matters even worse, he has reached pay dirt a total of three times this season, only two of which have come on the ground.
If the Tigers can force Arkansas to run the ball and take the ball out of Wilson's hands, then you have to like LSU's chances in this one.
3. Tight Coverage
There isn't a single unit in college football that was forced with a tougher task than LSU's secondary this season.
LSU lost three players from its secondary to the NFL draft. If that wasn't enough, Heisman Trophy candidate Tyrann Mathieu was kicked off the team after drug abuse.
But this new group has been exceptional this season.
Tharold Simon, Jalen Mills and crew have been great at the cornerback spot, while Eric Reid and Craig Loston has turned into one of the top safety duos in not only the SEC, but throughout the entire country.
If this group has another outstanding performance, look for Tyler Wilson to get frustrated and force some throws, which is exactly what this LSU secondary wants in this matchup.
4. Extend long drives on offense
Here's a way to stop Tyler Wilson from beating you—keep him off the football field.
LSU has found success on the ground with freshman running back Jeremy Hill. If the Tigers want to keep Wilson off the field, they are going to have to call on that running game to extend long drives in this game.
We have seen major improvement with Zach Mettenberger over the past couple of weeks. If Mettenberger can manage this game with ball security and the Tigers can rely on that dominant rushing attack to control the clock, that should keep Wilson and this Arkansas offense off the field.
Sounds like a good game plan, right?
5. Shadow Cobi Hamilton
How is this for playing favorites?
Arkansas' leading receiver is senior Cobi Hamilton, who has hauled in 80 catches for 1,237 yards and five touchdowns, which are among the best numbers in the country.
However, after Hamilton, Arkansas' next best receiving option this season is tight end Chris Gragg, who has totaled just 22 catches for 289 yards this season.
Sounds pretty simple—shadow Cobi Hamilton, and this LSU defense should be just fine in pass defense, right?
Hamilton has been dominant this season, but this isn't any average defense. LSU's defense is among the best in the county and if it wants to stop Tyler Wilson, it has to make it a point to keep an eye on Hamilton and make sure he doesn't have another breakout game.
This is a great defense and a great coaching staff. Something tells me they will have a game plan to slow down this Wilson-Hamilton duo on Friday.
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