LSU Football: 10 Bold Predictions for the Tigers Game Against Arkansas
When Arkansas arrives in Death Valley on Friday to play No. 1 LSU, everyone will be waiting in anticipation to see these two SEC powerhouses battle one another.
And while we know that this game will likely pave the way for one of these teams to the National Championship Game, there are plenty of unknowns entering this matchup.
How good are Arkansas' receivers? Can they really get the best of LSU's dominant secondary?
Will Jordan Jefferson start and play the majority of this game, or will Jarrett Lee see plenty of time at quarterback as well for the Tigers?
Let's break down 10 bold predictions heading into Friday's much anticipated SEC showdown.
1. Jordan Jefferson Will Start and Play 90 Percent of the Snaps
Jordan Jefferson has appeared to have taken over the starting quarterback job in Baton Rouge, and now it seems like it is his to keep.
Jarrett Lee obviously started the year at QB when Jefferson was suspended for an off-the-field fighting incident. Jefferson was eased back into the lineup once he returned, and now he is in position to be the full-time starter.
We have seen Lee sprinkled into the past couple of games, but those were both one-sided affairs. This game will be close, and Les Miles seems to understand that Jefferson gives his team the best chance to win big football games.
This is certainly a big football game.
2. LSU Will Rush for over 250 Yards
Just how good has LSU's backfield been this season?
As a unit, LSU has rushed for a combined 644 yards over its past two games. That's an average of 344 yards per game, so what would make one think that streak would come to a halt?
Now, I'm not going to say that LSU is going to rush for 344 yards in this game, but I am going to say they will rush for at least 250 yards on the ground.
With Spencer Ware, Alfred Blue and Michael Ford leading the way in this backfield, Arkansas has to understand they cannot stop them. They just better hope they can contain them.
If not, it is going to be a long day for the Razorbacks and a field day for the Tigers.
3. Rueben Randle Will Have a Touchdown Catch
Rueben Randle is one of the most underrated wide receivers in the country, and playing on the No. 1 team in the nation, you would figure he would get some more love.
Randle was held without a touchdown catch in last week's win over Ole Miss, but in this game, we should expect the big-play threat to get back on track and make a trip to the end zone on Friday.
You can count on it.
4. Tyrann Mathieu or Mo Claiborne Will Have an Interception
It's not all that often that you see LSU win in blowout fashion with Tyrann Mathieu or Mo Claiborne not recording a turnover.
Well, that will change on Friday.
There isn't a better cornerback combination in the country than Mathieu and Claiborne. They have been dominant all season long, and if LSU is going to win this game, you know they are going to have to come up big against Tyler Wilson and the Razorbacks.
A big day could be in store for both of them.
5. Drew Alleman Will Kick at Least Two Field Goals
Drew Alleman has only attempted one field goal over the last two games, but he will get more opportunities in this SEC showdown with Arkansas.
Alleman has connected on 14-of-16 field goals this season and is as good as any kicker in the country, but he just hasn't been given as many opportunities.
Look for Alleman to make a big difference in this game.
6. These Teams Will Combine to Score More Than 52 Points
Las Vegas has set the early over/under line on this game at 52.
Don't be surprised to see this game go over 52 points.
We all know that Arkansas can score in bunches. They have done so all season long, but what about LSU?
LSU can score in bunches as well, and generally they play and adapt to their competition, which is what makes them so good.
Alabama was a dominant defense, so LSU played dominant defense and beat them at their own game. Oregon and West Virginia both feature dominant offenses, so LSU put up 40 and 47 points on them, respectively.
If Arkansas wants to turn this game into a shootout, LSU will be up for the challenge.
7. LSU Will Force at Least 2 Defensive Turnovers
We mentioned earlier that Tyrann Mathieu and Mo Claiborne are the best cornerback duo in all of college football.
But that isn't all when talking about this dominant LSU defense.
Sam Montgomery anchors a dominant defensive line that thrives on getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. They will make it a point to make sure that Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson does not have an easy time escaping constant pressure from this defensive unit.
LSU will no doubt force at least two turnovers as Arkansas attempts to turn this game into an offensive slug fest.
8. LSU Will Hold Arkansas to Under 150 Yards on the Ground
Arkansas figured that their running game would take a huge hit this season when Knile Davis was lost to an injury early on this year.
But Arkansas has been able to find success in its running game, led by the duo of Dennis Johnson and Ronnie Wingo Jr. But that duo won't be able to find much room to run against this stout LSU run defense.
Neither of those backs will come close to topping 100 yards on the ground, and Arkansas will not gain more than 150 yards on the ground as a team in this game.
This defensive line and linebacking unit is simply too good.
9. LSU Will Contain Jarius Wright
Just as I said Rueben Randle is one of the most underrated wide receivers in all of college football, Arkansas senior Jarius Wright also falls into that category.
Wright has topped 90 yards receiving in six games already this season, but he isn't going to reach that number in this game.
Whether it's Tyrann Mathieu or Mo Claiborne guarding Wright, he will not be able to break loose for many big gains in this one.
LSU Will Win This Game
LSU knows what's at stake in this game, and they didn't come this far to lose in the final regular season game of the year.
If LSU wins this game, they will stamp their ticket to the National Title Game.
Now that isn't to say it's going to be easy. This will be a game for the ages, just like the Alabama-LSU game was, but with a lot more offense and plenty of big plays.
Look for it to come down to the fourth quarter, but LSU will prevail 34-31.
Get your popcorn ready.