No. 19 LSU Tigers (5-3 SU, 3-5 ATS) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (6-3 SU, 4-5 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date/Time: Saturday November 12th, 2016. 7:00PM (EST)
Where: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium Fayetteville, A.R.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: LSU -7/ARK +7
Over/Under Total: 46
The no. 19 LSU Tigers put up a valiant effort against no. 1 Alabama last week in a heavily anticipated showdown on the Bayou. The Tigers held one of the nationís best offenses scoreless for 3 quarters. However, the Tigers strong defensive effort was voided due to the own struggles of the LSU offense that was shutout in a 10-0 loss to the Crimson Tide. Before last weekís game, the Tigers had built a lot of momentum under interim Coach Ed Orgeron that had seemingly salvaged a season that went sour after a 2-2 start under former Head Coach Les Miles. This Saturday LSU will try to right the ship once again and bounce back with a strong effort as they go on the road to play the Arkansas Razorbacks.
I personally think this is a scary spot for the Tigers following last weekís tough loss against Alabama. Not only will LSU be trying to recover emotionally from so much energy that went into that game but a lot of offensive woes resurfaced in that loss last week as well. The Tigers offense was the forefront of the issues that caused Les Miles to get canned after a 2-2 start. Orgeron had done a good job of revamping the offense in the games that following as the Tigers averaged more than 40 points per game against Missouri, Southern Miss, and Mississippi. However, the offense was thwarted by the Alabama defense to the tune of just 125 total yards and quarterback Danny Etling appeared like a lost soul for 60 minutes of play.
The major question I have this week is can LSU recover offensively? I have never been really sold on Etling or any LSU quarterback for the last decade for that matter. However, the Tigers still have an extremely talented defense and a great rushing offense that can be leaned on heavily Saturday night. The Arkansas defense has not been typically good against the run. The Razorbacks have ranked 91st in total rushing defense yielding just less than 200 yards per game. Additionally, they have one of the worst marks in the FBS when it comes to yard per rush as they have allowed 6.12 yards per attempt to opposing offenses.
Those statistics should provide positive hopes for LSUís rushing attack that has some of the most talented rushers in the country in their backfield. Before being stuffed by Alabama, Leonard Fournette had averaged 167 yards per game on the ground in his 4 starts on the season. Obviously Fournette has been slowed by injuries this season but when he has been great when he has played. Fournette will be a go this Saturday and so will fellow running back Derrius Guice who leads the team with 7 touchdowns on the ground this season and has averaged nearly 8 yards per carry. Look for both of those guys to get plenty of work on offense.
I think this game will largely be decided by LSUís ability to run the football. If Arkansas stops the run, I have little faith that LSU can throw the ball effectively enough in this game to score points despite having one of the better defenses in the FBS. Speaking of that defense, Arkansas will have the luxury of trying to foil that Tigers defense this weekend. Quarterback Austin Allen has been pretty solid this year completing 61.8% passing with 19 scores and just 8 picks. However, we did see last week how disrupting this LSU defense can be when they get pressure on the quarterback. So not only does Allen have to remain his composure but running back Rawleigh Williams III will need to get some good gains on the ground to keep this defense guessing. Overall it should be a great chess match on both sides of the ball.
Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I like the under 46 in this game in a big way. I think LSUís defense has potential shutdown potential against Arkansasís offense and I am not confident LSU will have a ton of scoring possibilities either even if they have success running the football. Take the under 46!
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