1. Accentuate the positive
LSU fans may be down in the dumps after the loss to Alabama, but the Tigers cannot be. And if their track record under Ed Orgeron is any indication, they will bounce back. Coach O is 7-0 after seven previous defeats as LSU’s coach, including impressively snappy 38-10 and 33-10 victories over the Razorbacks following losses to Alabama the past two seasons. This may be Orgeron’s ultimate motivational test, but pride should still matter.
2. This flight is grounded
LSU has faced tough defenses in its past four games — Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State and Alabama — but that can’t completely excuse the Tigers’ passing game woes. Joe Burrow has not thrown a touchdown pass since Sept. 29 against Ole Miss, a span of 13 quarters and 128 attempts. LSU (meaning Burrow) has six TD passes, fewer than all but four of 129 FBS teams. Arkansas is 12th in the SEC in pass defense. If not now, when?
3. Turn ‘em over
Though Burrow has thrown four interceptions since his last touchdown pass, turnover margin overall remains one of the Tigers’ greatest strengths. LSU is first in the SEC and tied for fifth nationally in turnover margin (plus-1.33 per game). Conversely, Arkansas is tied for 107th in turnover margin (minus-.67), throwing as many interceptions (15) as LSU has caught. A couple of turnovers and subsequent short fields could help bolster the confidence of the LSU offense.
4. Who’s running the show?
Though Arkansas has middling offensive numbers overall, the Razorbacks led by Rakeem Boyd, have been more productive rushing lately. Boyd has rushed for 100-plus yards in three of his past four games — including 102 against Alabama, a sobering statistic for LSU (12 yards rushing last week) — while Arkansas has averaged 218.8 yards rushing in those four contests. LSU’s run defense (147.2 ypg) hasn’t been up to its usual standards. This is a good time to start.