It’s now almost one week later, and LSU football fans are still feeling the sting of the loss to Alabama. Actually, they (and that includes myself) are still feeling the sting of 6 consecutive losses to the hated Crimson Tide.
2016 will now be remembered (among other things) as another year without hope of a National Championship for our boys in Purple and Gold.
As it is, the road doesn’t get any easier for the Tigers for the remainder of the 2016 season, as they go on the road to face a scrappy Arkansas Razorbacks squad tomorrow in Fayetteville.
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We all knew it was a tall task to beat the Tide, even in Tiger Stadium. That defense is other worldly and Jalen Hurts is legit.
However, there is some proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” for LSU. These last 3 games are all very winnable, especially since Texas A&M Quarterback Trevor Knight is out for the remainder of the season.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, and let’s take a quick look at this weekend’s opponent.
The Arkansas Razorbacks enter the contest with an overall record of 6-3. They are 2-3 in the SEC; with losses to Texas A&M, Alabama and Auburn.
LSU has not fared well recently against Arkansas, losing to the Razorbacks the two previous seasons by scores of 17-0 and 31-14. Those losses just happen to also be after losses to Alabama. It seems that Arkansas has been able to get up for the game, whereas LSU has looked deflated and uninterested.
Nov 14, 2015; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Brandon Harris (6) fumbles as he is hit by Arkansas Razorbacks linebacker Dre Greenlaw (23) during the second quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Arkansas is not a team to be over looked, but at the same time they aren’t exactly world beaters.
They rank second to last in the SEC in total defense. They are 44th nationally against the pass, giving up 208.8 yards per game through the air. The Razorbacks really struggle in the run game, ranking 92nd nationally and giving up 198.4 yards per game on the ground.
That last stat likely has Leonard Fournette salivating.
Razorbacks junior quarterback Austin Allen has played very well this season, and is one of the better QBs the SEC has to offer (that isn’t saying much).
He is coming off a solid performance against a Florida Gators defense that is one of the best in the country. Allen connected on 15-26 passes for 243 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Nov 5, 2016; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Austin Allen (8) passes in the first quarter against the Florida Gators at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
It is worth noting that he threw for 400 yards and 3 touchdowns in a loss to Alabama. LSU barely made it over the century mark in TOTAL OFFENSE against Bama’s defense, but I digress.
The Razorbacks also have talent in their backfield as sophomore tailback Rawleigh Williams III has rushed for 955 yards and 7 touchdowns this season.
I am going to forego giving stats for LSU against Alabama, because frankly, there wasn’t much to talk about.
LSU did little to nothing on the offensive side of the ball and got shut out, case in point. Stats aside: Coach O, his staff and the players all know that these 3 remaining games will be tough.
After all, SEC division games always are and always will be. That’s simply just the way it is.
None of these teams will go quietly in to the night, and I’m sure they don’t expect the Tigers to lay down. The problem is LSU has come out of major losses the last couple years and played uninspired football.
That can’t happen again.
FINAL ANALYSIS AND PREDICTION
I fully expect a different outcome for LSU as they go for “The Golden Boot” this year.
Yes, LSU just played one of the most physical defensive games of the year.
Yes, it sucks that they lost to Alabama once AGAIN.
Nevertheless, I have it from a very reliable source (you all know who he is) that Coach O is making sure his team knows that coming out flat in this game is not acceptable.
The seniors on this team want to go out winners, and they have the chance to end the season on a run.
It may not be a ‘championship run’ any longer, but winning is all that matters now. It’s time for the Tigers to bring “The Golden Boot” back to Baton Rouge……..