A throw blanket of snow, flimsy and thin, dusted Fayetteville last night ahead of Arkansas football‘s matchup against the LSU Tigers. Temperatures are frigid heading into Saturday’s morning matinee, matching the general feeling around the Razorbacks.
However, to Sam Pittman’s benefit, no win would warm fans’ souls like beating LSU. A win today feels unlikely but not impossible for Pittman and this year’s band of Razorback Hogs.
On paper, Arkansas football has the more talented offense. From a total offense perspective, the Razorbacks are 14th in the country to LSU’s 33rd overall ranking. The issue for Arkansas continues to be putting the ball in the endzone, though. The Razorbacks have fewer offensive touchdowns than any other team in the top 25 in total offense.
Despite gaining more total yardage, the Razorbacks have also scored fewer touchdowns this season than LSU. Arkansas football can move the ball down the field, but they will need to be efficient once they find the red zone to win today.
Arkansas football will need to play their best game of the season to beat LSU today.
Because here’s the thing: LSU’s defense has been solid, but they aren’t world-beaters. The LSU defense is 43rd overall in Total Defense this season. The Tigers actually rank lower than the Liberty team that beat the Razorbacks last week.
Obviously, LSU’s defense is statistically stronger than Arkansas football on that side of the ball, but you knew that without me telling you. (For reference, though, the Hogs rank 117th in the country.
It is a broken record, but we know this Razorback defense will give up points. The offense will need to score a ton for them to have a shot.
It should be noted, though, that upsets are not unheard of in this matchup. In the Golden Boot era (the teams started competing for a trophy in 1996), the lower-ranked team won nine times, and seven of those upsets were perpetrated by the home team.
Bayou Bengals love warm weather. So hopefully, the Arctic chill engulfing Fayetteville this morning gives Arkansas football an additional home-field advantage. If not, it’ll be the coach’s seats that are feeling the warmth.