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Both teams will try to bounce back after heartbreaking losses last weekend, as the Arkansas Razorbacks play host to Les Miles’ 17th ranked LSU Tigers. The Tigers are coming off a devastating home loss to Alabama on Saturday. After blowing a three-point lead in the last minute, LSU’s offense failed to covert in the overtime, falling 20-13 to the Crimson Tide. Arkansas too will need to regroup after squandering an early lead to the top ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs. While neither team will be competing for a playoff spot in January, the Razorbacks are fighting to keep their slim bowl eligibility chances alive.
At 4-5 Arkansas has struggled this season under second-year Head Coach Bret Bielema. While they’ve impressive against top ranked teams this season, an inability to close out games has cost them against the nation’s best. They’ve consistently started strong, outscoring opponents by an average of five points in the first half, but their ineptitude in the fourth quarter of games has cost them against Texas A&M, Alabama, and Mississippi State respectively. Junior quarterback Brandon Allen has played well this season, but for the Razorbacks to compete in the game they’re going to need a strong performance out of their two-headed rushing attack. Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams have combined for over 1 700 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns this year, but are facing a stingy LSU defense this week.
The Tigers have looked good as of late; they came within seconds of upsetting Alabama last weekend, and took down a highly rated Ole Miss team the week prior. Freshman running back Leonard Fournette has become a force to be reckoned with this season after striking a Heisman Trophy pose in a 56-0 beat down of the San Jose State Bearkats earlier this year. Their primary issue is at quarterback where sophomore Anthony Jennings has struggled this year, completing just 47.1% with just nine touchdown passes.
The major difference between these two teams is on defense. While the Tigers have struggled against the run at times this season, they rank in the top five in both pass defense and points allowed. For the Razorbacks, the main issue is in the secondary where they rank 64th in passing yards allowing and 24.7 points per game.
Sportsbook currently lists LSU as +2 point underdogs in Arkansas. While Arkansas has played well at home this year, if the Tigers can generate any sort of success through the air, Fournette and the defense should give LSU a slight edge. Take the Tigers in a game that will no doubt be a close one.
When: Saturday, November 15th, 2014,
Time: 8:00pm (Eastern Time)
Where: Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, Arkansas
Opening NFL odds: Arkansas Razorbacks -1
NFL Betting Odds from: Bovada