Arkansas Razorbacks (3-8 SU, 3-8 ATS) vs. No. 17 LSU Tigers (8-3 SU, 5-5-1 ATS)
College Football Week 14
Date and Time: Friday November 29th, 2013. 2:30PM Eastern
Where: Tiger Stadium Baton Rouge, L.A.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Ark +24.5/LSU -24.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
The LSU Tigers defense returned last week in a big way
by shutting down Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M’s dynamic offense in a dominating
34-10 victory. After nearly a full season of subpar performances, the Tigers
defense was impressive as they dominated upfront, kept Manziel under pressure,
and held the Aggies to less than 300 yards total offense. LSU dominated
the time of possession battle with a 2-1 ratio and controlled the football
just as onlookers have become accustomed to under coach Les Miles. The win
moved LSU to 8-3 SU and gives the Tigers a chance at a 4th consecutive 10
win season. In order to accomplish that feat, the Tigers must first claim
the ‘Golden Boot’ when they host the Arkansas Razorbacks
inside Tiger Stadium this Friday.
This rivalry game held annually on Black Friday will serve as the 22nd consecutive meeting since Arkansas joined the SEC. However the first meeting goes all the way back to 1901 making it one of the oldest rivalries in the South. This Friday’s match-up projects to be one of the most lopsided meetings in recent history as the Tigers will enter as 24.5 point favorites over an Arkansas team that has lost 8 straight games making it the longest losing streak in school history. Last week the Razorbacks appeared destined to end their losing streak but then relinquished a 10-0 halftime lead and gave up several missed opportunities in a 24-17 overtime loss to Mississippi State. The Razorbacks are now staring at the harsh reality of losing their last 9 games of the season unless they can overcome a huge 24 point spread and capture an upset inside Tiger Stadium.
Unfortunately Arkansas’s chances of pulling off one of the biggest upset in Tiger Stadium history does not look promising. Not only does Coach Les Miles have an impeccable record in Baton Rouge but if the LSU defense continues their improved play it will be a nightmare for Arkansas’s offense. The Razorbacks biggest catalyst towards their losing streak has been the play of the offense. Coach Bret Bielema has been faced with several challenges on the offensive side of the ball this season and has yet to find a successful resolution. The Razorbacks running game has been solid behind tailbacks Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams who have combined for 1,840 yards and 8 touchdowns. However quarterback troubles, turnovers, and stalled drives have been too frequent. As a result, the Razorbacks have one of the worse scoring offenses in the country averaging just 20.1 points per game (110th in FBS).
Unless something drastic changes, I cannot envision LSU’s defense succumbing this Friday. Perhaps the Razorbacks defense can make a stand to keep things close and within the 24.5 spread. Then again it will be senior day in Baton Rouge for quarterback Zach Mettenberger and a host of other LSU players. Mettenberger will be capping off a great season where he has already thrown for 2,926 yards for 22 touchdowns and 7 picks. In my opinion those numbers are extremely impressive for a Les Miles offense that loves keeping the ball on the ground about 70% of the time. Both receivers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry have each eclipsed the 1,000 yard receiving mark. Not to mention tailback Jeremy Hill has reached the 1,000 yard plateau making it the first time in LSU history that two wide receivers and a running back have all eclipsed such barriers. Obviously LSU’s offensive talent should reign supreme this Friday barring any unexpected circumstances. Will it be enough to cover?
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think the Tigers defense keeps LSU on the short field and this game gets fairly ugly. The Tigers have plenty of weapons in the passing game and a rushing attack that will take wear down the Arkansas defense. If it does not get ugly quick, LSU will pull away late. Take LSU -24.5
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