Summer Scouting is a daily weekday post analyzing LSU football’s 12 opponents for the 2015 season. From McNeese State (June 29) to Texas A&M (July 11), we’ll give you an early scouting report on the one dozen teams on LSU’s schedule.
When: TBA, Nov. 14
Where: Tiger Stadium
Early spread: LSU -1.5
Who’s before and after: Alabama and at Ole Miss
Arkansas at a glance
Coach (year): Bret Bielema (3rd)
2014 record: 7-6 (2-6, 7th SEC West)
2014 postseason: Won Texas Bowl, 31-7, vs. Texas
Returning starters: 15 (9 offense, 6 defense)
Preseason prediction: 16th nationally, 5th SEC West
Allen’s improvement: If QB Brandon Allen can go from good to great, then Arkansas can go from average to good. That’s what many are thinking in Fayetteville. Allen’s numbers last year – 2,285 yards, 20 touchdowns, five picks – were solid, but the passing game’s improvement could be the different in another 7-8 win season and a championship-type run. Hmm. Sounds familiar (hint: LSU).
Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins: These two running backs made Arkansas the only team in FBS last year to have a pair of backs run for more than 1,000 yards. They each scored 12 touchdowns, too. They’re both upperclassmen now. Williams is a senior and Collins is a junior. Here’s the kicker – the offensive line they’ll run behind is losing just one starter from last year’s stud group.
Replacing defenders: Honestly, it’s tough to find one “weak” spot on this Arkansas team. Sure, the Hogs don’t have the best breakout, explosive receivers, but it’s tough to call the position weak. We went with the defensive side of the ball. DL Trey Flowers, LB Martrell Spaight and DB Alan Turner are all gone. They make up three of Arkansas’ top four tacklers from last season. Flowers, a fourth-round draft pick, had 65 tackles, 15.5 for loss and 6 sacks.
Previous posts and coming posts
Monday: McNeese State
Tuesday: Mississippi State
Friday: Eastern Michigan
Saturday: South Carolina
Tuesday: Western Kentucky
Friday: Ole Miss
Saturday: Texas A&M