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LSU linebacker Micah Baskerville (23) pressures Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson (1) into intentional grounding in the first half, Saturday, November 13, 2021, at Tiger Stadium.

1. WHAT WE LEARNED

The LSU quarterback situation may have seen a permanent shift. Sophomore Max Johnson started the game but gave way to freshman Garrett Nussmeier on the Tigers’ third possession. Nussmeier promptly led LSU to a field goal and a touchdown pass to Jack Bech, who made a tightroping grab in the back of the end zone. The change didn’t result in more points for the Tigers, however. LSU is averaging just 14.7 points over its last three games.

2. TRENDING NOW

The LSU defense. Against Alabama and now Arkansas here in November, the Tigers hardly resemble the unit that got pushed around by UCLA in September and shredded by Kentucky in October. Despite being without nine players who started multiple games, the LSU defense has found a way to keep up the pressure on opposing quarterbacks while doing a good job of bottling up the run. Ultimately, though, one blown coverage was killer as the offense struggled.

3. FINAL THOUGHTS

Victory would have put LSU within a win over ULM next week of being bowl eligible. Instead, the Tigers are left to deal with the “What ifs?” of a second straight loss that easily could have been a win. LSU’s play against Bama and Arkansas has been testament to the Tigers’ refusal to simply pack it in. But their inability to close the deal leaves one wondering about their mental state for the next two games.

Email Scott Rabalais at srabalais@theadvocate.com