Arkansas vs. LSU: Game Time and Last-Minute Predictions

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2011

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 05:  Michael Ford #42 of the LSU Tigers scores a touchdown in overtime that was called back after Ford stepped out of bounds against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

No. 3 Arkansas (10-1, 6-1), a forgotten national title contender before last week's chaos shook up the rankings, travels to Death Valley to take on No. 1 LSU (11-0, 7-0). The Razorbacks are coming off an easy win over Mississippi State, while the Tigers easily dispatched of Ole Miss in Week 12.

Where: Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA

When: Friday, Nov. 25 at 2:30 p.m. ET

Watch: CBS

Spread: LSU -12

Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino will likely be utilizing all the usual underdog techniques throughout the week. Expect the Razorbacks to come out with a chip on their shoulder, which will put a lot of pressure on LSU.

The Tigers have jumped every hurdle in their path so far, and the return of Jordan Jefferson gives them another weapon on offense. While they have enough talent to keep up with Arkansas' speed, don't expect a blowout on Friday.

All told, Arkansas covers.


Over/Under: 52.5

With the SEC's two best offenses going to battle, over would seem like the logical selection. While the Tigers defense is giving up less than 10 points per game, they did allow 27 to Oregon's high-flying offense in Week 1, so they're not unbeatable.


NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04:  Knile Davis #7 of the Arkansas Razorbacks runs the ball against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Im
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Arkansas Key Injuries

Doubtful: RB Knile Davis


LSU Key Injuries

Probable: DB Craig Loston and DB Eric Reid


BCS Implications

This game has more BCS implications than any other on the Week 13 slate. The winner will claim the SEC West Division title and a trip to face Georgia in the conference championship game. LSU has an unmatched résumé, so a rematch wouldn't be out of the question if Arkansas prevails.


Keys to Arkansas Win

Come out on the attack—The tendency for underdogs is to start conservatively so they don't get blown out before the first quarter ends. Even though that's a smart plan for some teams, it's not for the Razorbacks. Arkansas' offense is its biggest weapon and needs to test LSU's vaunted defense.

Get the ball to Jarius Wright early and often—Wright, a senior wide receiver, is averaging more than 100 yards per game. LSU will do everything within its power to effectively eliminate him. The Razorbacks can't allow that to happen to their biggest playmaker.


Keys to LSU Win

Make life tough on Tyler Wilson—Arkansas' talented quarterback averages more than 40 drop backs but is getting sacked less than twice per game. LSU needs to turn up the pressure on him so he can't get too comfortable in the pocket.

Keep it simple—LSU is unbeaten for a reason. The Tigers have a boatload of talent and have executed to near perfection all season. Les Miles shouldn't change anything now because of the game's importance.



LSU 38, Arkansas 28