Published November 20, 2012 - 3:00pm
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The Matchup: #7 LSU (9-2, 5-2) at Arkansas (4-7, 2-5)
When: Friday, November 23rd
Where: Fayetteville, Arkansas
Game Time: 2:30 PM ET
Recent Series History: The home team has won the last four games in a row. Since 1994, LSU has faced the Hogs in Little Rock, losing the last two. The Hogs have only hosted LSU one time in Fayetteville (‘92) in the 57-game history.
What you need to know about LSU: The Tigers are still vying for a BCS bowl berth to push their win mark to 10 on the season. Of course, Florida would need to lose, and it would be helpful if Texas A&M lost, too, to lock up that bowl berth in New Orleans.
LSU’s only two losses have come to #4 Florida and #2 Alabama.
The Tigers are coming off a very important 41-35 win against Ole Miss, in which freshman Jeremy Hill scored with 15 seconds left, and Les Miles delivered one of the most unforgettable post-game speeches to the media ever.
The light switch came on for Zach Mettenberger against Alabama, and he’s played well the last two weeks, too. He’s not lighting up the box score by any means, but he is playing strong and looks to have a better grasp of the offense while playing with more confidence. He’ll need to play well against Arkansas, as the Hogs’ running defense is one of the better ones in the SEC – currently ranked 5th.
Freshman Jeremy Hill has been the spark plug the stagnant offense has needed at times, and he’s scored a team-high nine touchdowns. Let’s remember, he really only started playing against South Carolina. He’s a top three or four back in the SEC right now.
Defensive ends Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo should have a field day teeing off against the Arkansas offensive line.
What you need to know about Arkansas: This game is all about pride for the Hogs, and their seniors – namely Tyler Wilson, Dennis Johnson and Cobi Hamilton – want to leave on a good note. A big upset against LSU shattering their BCS hopes should do just the trick, but it will be very tough, and it will take the Hogs’ best game of the season to do it.
LSU will be keying in on the passing game, because Wilson and company are the only threat on offense. If you stop Tyler Wilson and force a couple turnovers, Arkansas usually rolls over. The one-dimensional offense hasn’t been successful really all season, and the lack of production from Knile Davis has been a killer. Dennis Johnson has done a decent job, but he’s not Davis and he’s not a game breaker.
The one improved aspect of the Arkansas team this season has been the run defense. It’s been a bright spot, too. The Hogs are currently fifth in the SEC in rushing defense, allowing only 127 yards per game on the ground. However, the passing defense has been tumultuous, allowing a robust 292 yards through the air.
Who has the edge: No doubt LSU has the edge, but does Arkansas really stand a chance against LSU? We can call this a rivalry game, because it’s had major implications over the last several years.
How did Mississippi State dominate Arkansas? Tyler Russell hammered them through the air for four touchdowns. Look for Mettenberger to have his best game passing the ball against a very porous Arkansas defense.
If Arkansas wants to win this game, running back Dennis Johnson has to have a huge game in what will be his last-ever game in a Razorback uniform. If Johnson can get going, and Tyler Wilson is on, this could turn into an interesting game.
However, it will take the Hogs’ best game to even make it a game.
Photo Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-US PRESSWIRE