The Arkansas Razorbacks and LSU Tigers meet on Friday to battle for the Golden Boot in a rivalry that dates back to 1901.
After opening the season with three straight wins, the Razorbacks have lost their last eight, including an overtime contest against Mississippi State last week.
No. 17 LSU has been streaky as of late. The Tigers are 2-2 in their last four, but a season-defining 34-10 win over then-ranked No. 12 Texas A&M came a week ago. LSU sits at 8-3 and third in the SEC West.
LSU has won two straight in this historic rivalry. Since the beginning of the Golden Boot era (1996), the Tigers have lost just once in Baton Rouge (2007).
Here is everything fans need to know about the exciting matchup.
When: Friday, Nov. 29 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider)
- Over/Under: N/A
- Spread: LSU (-24.5)
Razorbacks Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Will Hines||CB||11/25/2013||is questionable for Friday's game against LSU||Questionable||arm|
|Robert Thomas||DT||10/14/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||leg|
|Carroll Washington||CB||11/25/2013||is questionable for Friday's game against LSU||Questionable||foot|
|Demetrius Wilson||WR||08/18/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||knee|
Tigers Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Jeryl Brazil||CB||10/20/2013||is suspended indefinitely||Suspended||disciplinary/legal|
|Josh Williford||G||08/11/2013||is out indefinitely||Out||concussion|
Can Arkansas Remain Competitive?
The spread is massive here for a reason.
Arkansas has simply not fared well against ranked opposition this year. In fact, the Razorbacks have played against five ranked teams so far, and have lost by a combined score of 214-67.
The Razorbacks are very much a run-first team. Running backs Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams have combined for 1,840 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground to give the team a top-30 attack.
The problem? Arkansas scores just 20.1 points per game on average—good for the No. 110 rank in the nation. In the SEC, that simply won't get the job done.
If Arkansas is going to stand a chance, it will need to score in bunches on an LSU defense that allows an average of 22.3 points per game.
Arkansas' strength offensively happens to be LSU's strength—defensively.
Which team wins?
The Tigers allow 145.8 rushing yards per game on a 4.0 average. Like most games this season, Arkansas will be able to find some semblance of success on the ground, but it simply will not produce enough points.
LSU scores 37.5 points per game on average behind the arm of Zach Mettenberger. The senior has thrown for 2,926 yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions with a 65 percent completion percentage.
Mettenberger is backed by running back Jeremy Hill, who has 1,040 yards and 13 touchdowns on the year.
The talent disparity here is too much. The Tigers win at home in their final game of the season.
Final Score: Tigers 35, Razorbacks 17