Sportaholic SEC Game Of The Week: LSU vs. Arkanasas
LSU vs. Arkansas Preview: MAN!!!! This season LSU has been in key games just about all year. This one definitely has major implications with the SEC WEST CHAMPIONSHIP ON THE LINE. This rivalry has been called the “Battle for the Boot” (because of the shape of the two states makes a boot apperance). These two teams started playing each other 1901 but it intensified when Arkansas entered the SEC in 1992. LSU leads the series 34-20, but Arkansas has won 3 of the last 4 meetings between the two.
This game has had its historic moments like for example the 1947 Cotton Bowl which is also referred to as the “ Ice Bowl” because of the ice, sleet, snow, rain, and sub-20 degree (Fahrenheit) weather which produced horrid playing conditions (it got so cold the teams burned their benches to stay warm on the sidelines). They battled to a 0-0 tie. In 1966 the Razorbacks came into Dallas playing the Tigers in the Cotton Bowl the Razorbacks were riding a 22 game winning streak and won the previous Southwest Conference and National Titles. LSU ENDED UP WINNING 14-7 snapping the Razorbacks win streak. In 2002 “The Miracle on Markham” (Markham is the main street that runs by War Memorial Stadium).Trailing 20-14 to LSU. Matt Jones passed for a 31-yd strike with 9 seconds left to DeCori Birmingham who leaped over LSU defensive back Randall Gay. Coming into the November 23, 2007 game which was played in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, LSU was ranked number one in the country in the BCS, and most major polls. The Razorbacks outlasted the Tigers in a grueling three overtime game to win the game in which star running back Darren McFadden rushed for 206 yards, three touchdowns, and threw for one touchdown to lift Arkansas to a 50-48 victory. The "Wild Hog" formation (Arkansas' name for the Wildcat offense) was run prominently in the game, led by McFadden, in which he was a triple threat to run, hand off, or throw.
In 2008, Arkansas quarterback Casey Dick threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver London Crawford on a fourth-down (with one yard to go) situation with only 22 seconds remaining on the game clock to give the Razorbacks a 31-30 victory over the Tigers at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Ironically, Crawford caught it in the same corner in the same end zone Decori Birmigham had scored the game winner six years earlier against LSU. The Razorbacks had trailed by a score of 30-14 early in the third quarter when Casey replaced his younger brother, Nathan at quarterback; LSU incurred several penalties which aided Arkansas in their comeback ending on the winning drive which included converting twice on fourth down. In a near top-ten battle in War Memorial Stadium, Arkansas retrieved the Golden Boot from the Tigers with a 31-23 season-defining victory. The Razorbacks’ offense recorded 464 total yards of offense against the Tigers, who had the top-ranked defense in the SEC entering the contest Arkansas’s sophomore running back Knile Davis rushed for 152 yards, including nine straight rushes on the final Arkansas drive, and Ryan Mallet broke the school record of 60 career touchdown passes in the contest.. Arkansas and LSU both closed the regular season with a record of 10-2, with Arkansas finishing second in the SEC Western Division behind Auburn, allowing the Razorbacks to earn a berth in the 2011 Sugar Bowl. With the history laid out lets go to the preview.
Offense vs. Offense: Both offense’s were clicking last weekend (Arkansas with a 44-17 beating of MSU and LSUs 52-3 humiliation of Ole Miss (could have been 59-3 but Miles felt bad for the Rebels). Tyler Wilson is picking up where Ryan Mallett off with an eye popping 3215 yds and 21 touchdowns and has a talented wide receiving corps of Jarius Wright with a 1000 yds and Joe Adams with 500 yds look to challenge the LSU secondary. The Razorback rushing attack is led by Dennis Johnson 606 yds Ronnie Wingo Jr. 424 yds (there has been a Kniles Davis sighting on Arkansas’s sideline who had a knee injury during the off season which has kept him out of most of the year, but whether if he going to see playing time is a mystery) look to pressure the LSU defensive line. LSU will counter with its dual QB treat in Jarrett Lee as a passing treat and Jordan Jefferson as option threat plus with its 4 deep running back corps in Michael Ford, Spencer Ware, Kenny Hilliard, and Alfred Blue and its talented WRs in Russell Shepard Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randell. The WR corp. and passing attack must play a bigger part in the offense in the match-up to counter Arkansas’s offensive attack- DRAW
Defense vs. Defense: Now this is where it gets good, the last time Arkansas O-line faced a defense like this it was Alabama and they lost so I expect them to make adjustments and LSUs secondary which is 3rd in the SEC with 15 will face its second test in Mr. Wilson so the Honey Badger (Tyrann Mathieu) and his secondary teammates must play lights out and put pressure on the WRs. LSUs D-line must put pressure on the QB which has 27 sacks on the year and the improving LSU LB corp. must play solid like they did against Alabama’s running game. LSUs offensive line must be aware of Jake Bequette (he has 8 QB sacks on the year) and QB and WRs must be aware of Tramain Thomas with his 4 picks, but I’m giving the slight Edge to LSU
Intangibles: This series has gone back and forth. With the SEC West Championship on the line, it’s the day after Thanksgiving, it’s for the Golden Boot, and last Sunday Arkansas Red shirt freshman Tight-End Garrett Uekmen was found dead in his dorm room this is going to be a very emotional Arkansas team, Its LSUs SENIOR DAY and these guys will not want to lose their last game in Tiger Stadium, and with so much on the line both teams will play inspired ball. With both sides having something to prove and to gain. Field Goals, Kick Returns, Discipline football, turnovers, and of course 4th down conversions will make this game key. Plus the added fact the game is in Tiger Stadium the edge will go to LSU
Winner and why – Well I’m predicting that this is going to be record in attendance in Tiger Stadium the match-up. Both teams will come out fighting with emotions running high, each team will leave it on the line. Its going to be a close game but this season the Tigers have answered every challenge, been focused, and has bought into Les Miles philosophy “ No One Is Bigger Than The Team”, to be honestly that’s how championships are won not just one player but players who step up and lead and LSU has those. LSU will be eating Pork Chops, Bacon, and Ham - Final score LSU 35-21