1 Building on Bama
Several LSU players said last Saturday’s Alabama game brought out their best effort and focus of the season. The Tigers still lost 24-10, but they showed some strengths along the offensive and defensive lines, both areas of major concern for LSU in previous games. Now LSU returns home as a two-plus touchdown favorite over Arkansas. The Tigers have to fight off the hangover effect and make sure one “encouraging” loss doesn’t turn into two.
2 Get in, get out
LSU coach Ed Orgeron was adamant this week: senior Danny Etling is his quarterback and freshman Myles Brennan is not a viable option. Still, Brennan is the odds-on favorite to be the starter in 2018, so every scrap of game experience he gets is crucial. Based on Orgeron’s guidelines, that means getting in when the Tigers are comfortably in front. Whatever point threshold LSU needs to reach to get Brennan in the game is a top priority.
3 Stuck in the middle
LSU has been committed all season to probing opponents with its vertical passing game. The Tigers are also good at the short range stuff. The intermediate 10-20 yard passes, not so much. Maybe it’s that LSU’s ground game has been so productive (the Tigers are a respectable fifth in the SEC with 209 ypg) but there’s always room for improvement. LSU should strive to get more over-the-middle mismatches with its receivers and backs on linebackers.
4 All that said …
Talk of quarterbacks and passing game particulars shouldn’t gloss over the fact that the Tigers should be able to pound the Razorbacks with the run. Arkansas allows 190.2 ypg rushing, 11th in the SEC. However, the Razorbacks are second-worst in the SEC allowing 5.3 yards per rush attempt. All this means it should be open season for Messrs. Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams, who we’d love to see more of out of the Wildcat formation.