The LSU Tigers and Arkansas Razorbacks will meet for the 63rd time in history on Saturday. The longstanding rivalry between the Tigers and Hogs will again play for the Golden Boot, as the annual meeting shifts out to Fayetteville for the 2018 edition.
This game won’t have any ‘major’ stakes to it of course. The Tigers lost out on competing for the SEC West after the Alabama Crimson Tide smoked them 29-0 last weekend in Baton Rouge. Arkansas, meanwhile, has been lying low in the cellar of the Western Division all season.
But just because nothing’s on the line doesn’t mean nothing’s on the line. This rivalry certainly has its fair share of hatred on both sides (although probably closer to the fans more than the players at this point, obviously). And neither side wants to lose to the other.
LSU is still in the running for a New Year’s Six bowl, since they rank 7th in the latest CFB Playoff Rankings. So a victory for them is pretty important. And it’s not like LSU has ‘dominated’ the rivalry in recent years. They have won the last two meetings, but dropped the games in 2014 and 2015.
They also lost all the way back in 2010 also, and let us not forget the losses in 2007 and 2008. You just never know, so LSU will have to be on its best behavior this weekend in Fayetteville and their A-game so they don’t see their season go completely up in flames.
Arkansas will of course look to play the role of spoiler. It’s not going to be easy, given the disparity between these two teams. But certainly, they’d like for it to happen. To their credit, their offense has been playing better of late. They have seen their total yards hang around the 400 plateau, with a 476-yard performance against the Ole Miss Rebels being the high.
Their rushing game has also been steadily improving. After their YPC hung around 2.1-3.9 in the first five games of the season, they’ve since seen dramatic improvement. In their last four games, Arkansas has averaged 5.5, 5.6, 6.2 and 71 yards per carry.
Certainly, that helps their cause. And it’s been even better defensively, too. In their last five games, they’ve allowed 3.8, 2.5, 3.3, 1.7 and 3.1 yards per carry. Considering they saw quite a lot of hiccups in the beginning of the year, it’s clear that they are showing signs of improvement and development. They’ll have their hands full against LSU’s rushing attack, but this is a unit that’s getting better and may be up to task.
To put it simply, this one could be a rout or it could get weird. Ya just never know when it comes to rivalry games. This game will probably be far from boring.
HOW TO WATCH
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network
Watch Online: WatchESPN