Arkansas travels to No. 12 LSU Saturday for the the Battle for the Boot
No. 12 LSU has its eyes set on a 2-0 start to SEC play on Saturday when they welcome border foe Arkansas to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for a Week 4 matchup. This marks the 69th meeting all-time between the Tigers and Razorbacks. The two teams began playing for the Golden Boot in 1996, four years after the SEC split into divisions.
Since losing to No. 4 Florida State in its season opener, LSU has bounced back with big wins vs. Grambling and Mississippi State by a combined score of 113-24. Quarterback Jayden Daniels and wide receiver Malik Nabers were named co-SEC Offensive Players of the Week for their efforts against Mississippi State, connecting for 239 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
Arkansas, meanwhile, is reeling from a 38-31 loss to BYU. It was the Razorbacks’ first setback of the young season after they started 2-0 vs. Western Carolina and Kent State. Saturday kicks off a difficult stretch of conference games for Sam Pittman’s squad; they travel to LSU, Ole Miss and Alabama in the next four weeks.
LSU leads the all-time series 41-23-2 (the Tigers vacated their wins in 2012 and 2013) and is 18-9 since the trophy was introduced. The Razorbacks have just one win in the last seven years, though each of the last three installments have been decided by just three points.
LSU vs. Arkansas: Need to know
Arkansas may be without top offensive weapon: Running back Raheim Sanders missed the Razorbacks’ last two games with a left knee injury he suffered in a season-opening win against Western Carolina. The SEC’s No. 2 rusher a season ago was limited in practice, and his status is uncertain. Having a preseason All-SEC first-team selection in the lineup certainly changes the calculus on the direction of this game.
LSU dealing with depth concerns, too: LSU could also be without a few impact players, though things are trending in a positive direction overall. Tigers coach Brian Kelly said Monday that linebacker Omar Speights and edge rusher Ovie Oghoufo are “probable.” Safety Greg Brooks, though, had surgery to . An optimistic return for him is the end of the season.
Strength vs. Strength: Something’s going to have to give when LSU runs the ball Saturday. The Tigers boast the SEC’s third-best rushing offense with 192.7 yards on the ground per game. Quarterback Jayden Daniels and running backs Logan Diggs and Josh Williams all have at least 100 yards rushing. Arkansas, however, doesn’t let opponents move the ball in the run game. The Razorbacks run defense paces the SEC and ranks fifth nationally at 55.7 yards rushing per game.
How to watch LSU vs. Arkansas live
Date: Saturday, Sept. 23 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Tiger Stadium — Baton Rouge, Louisiana
TV: ESPN | Live Stream: fuboTV – (Start Your Free Trial)
LSU vs. Arkansas prediction, picks
Odds via SportsLine consensus
LSU methodically ripping Mississippi State apart in last week’s SEC opener is likely inflating this line a bit. It was an impressive win, especially given the rash of injuries that hit them in the days leading up to the game. It tracks that oddsmakers would be bullish on a more healthy LSU, at home, against an Arkansas team coming off a loss to BYU. But the Razorbacks are much more competent offensively. KJ Jefferson is playing at a really high level — especially as a passer — and the Razorbacks are still moving the ball well on the ground without Sanders. This will be a huge test for Daniels. Arkansas is capable of completely eliminating LSU’s run game. The Tigers will win, but it’s going to be a lot closer than most people imagine. Pick: Arkansas +17.5