Week 14 - Arkansas at LSU

Posted Nov 26, 2013

Week 14 Fearless Prediction & Preview - Arkansas at LSU

Arkansas (3-8) at LSU (8-3) Nov. 29 2:30, CBS

Why You Should Give A Hoot: LSU is jockeying for bowl position with several big games still on the table after a thorough and impressive beating of Texas A&M. The Tigers haven't quite lived up to their billing, but two of their losses were in tough, down-to-the-wire battles against Ole Miss and Georgia, and when everything is humming, they've been impressive – a case could be made that this really is the second or third-best team in the SEC, at least on pure talent.

The long nightmare for Arkansas is almost over. The Hogs hit the skids with an eight-game losing streak after a 3-0 start, and while they haven't been embarrassing, they've showed just how far they really need to go before they can be contenders again. The drop from the Bobby Petrino era has been swift and painful, and while it'll be a process to get everything to the 2010 levels, a win over LSU going into the offseason would be a big deal.

Why Arkansas Might Win: Is it possible LSU peaked against Texas A&M? The Tigers haven't been the most consistent team this year, struggling out of the gate against Ole Miss and sputtering at times when the focus doesn't appear to be there, and the Hogs could catch them napping. Arkansas has to get the running game going right away and try to control the tempo from the start and own the time of possession. LSU was able to generate a little bit of pressure on Johnny Manziel, but it doesn't usually get into the backfield. The Arkansas line is fifth in the nation in fewest tackles for loss allowed; it should be able to keep the Tigers from making big things happen behind the line.

Why LSU Might Win: It's going to take a nearly perfect performance from Arkansas to pull this off, and it's probably not going to happen. The Hogs don't commit penalties – Bret Bielema teams almost never do – but they're having a hard time hanging on to the ball with four turnovers or more in four of the last five games. LSU isn't stingy when it comes to giving the ball away, but Arkansas has to be +3 in turnover margin, and it won't be, finishing in the negative in six of the last seven games. Defensively, LSU should be able to cheat up as much as it wants to against the run; the Tiger secondary should be able to handle the painfully ineffective Arkansas passing attack.

Who To Watch Out For: Jeremy Hill has been the star back for the Tigers with over 1,000 yards with 13 touchdowns, but he took a back seat last week against Texas A&M. His 76 yards were solid, but it was junior Terrence Magee who stole the show with 149 yards on 13 carries. The 5-9, 215-pound back was a prep quarterback and is a coaches' favorite, but he hasn't been used enough as a receiver.

What Will Happen: LSU will keep the momentum going. The Arkansas defense tries hard and it'll have a few nice moments, but the Tiger offensive balance will be too much to overcome.

Prediction: LSU 38 … Arkansas 17
Line: LSU -24.5 o/u: 52.5
Must See Rating: (5 American Hustle – 1 The Sound of Music Live!) … 2.5
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