If we would have told you a year ago (or even just a few months ago) that LSU would enter the Arkansas game as the underdog, you probably would have said we were crazy.
But that’s just par for the course for what 2020 has offered.
The Razorbacks opened as a 1.5-point favorite to beat the Tigers, who have had a rocky, chaotic start to the season. Now granted, betting odds have moved back in favor of LSU, which is now about a 2- or 2.5-point favorite to win Saturday. But the notion still stands. The defending national champs are less than a field goal difference to a team that lost 20 straight SEC games until earlier this year.
Even worse? The game that snapped that losing streak for Arkansas was a win against Mississippi State, which set passing records in an opening-week win against LSU.
We don’t need to recap too much of this brutal season. Tiger fans have lived through it and are fully aware of what has unfolded. But this Arkansas game that was probably penciled in as a win for LSU by most fans has turned into a pivotal contest for the Tigers moving forward.
LSU will have the luxury of an extra off week after the Alabama game was canceled/postponed a week ago, which could play into the Tigers’ benefit as they look to shore up the defense and get true freshman quarterback TJ Finley more comfortable with the offense.
They’ll go against a Razorback defense that is tied for fourth in the country with a +8 turnover margin, along with an offense that has been surprisingly efficient with Feleipe Franks under center.
The LSU defense has struggled against several SEC quarterbacks this season, and Franks currently sits as the league’s No. 4 passer with 1,678 yards this season.
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This story was first published in 225 magazine. Subscribe to the free 225 Dine e-newsletter here.