BATON ROUGE, La. – Avoiding a letdown on the way to the College Football playoff is the biggest concern for top-ranked LSU, which has two regular season games remaining before a likely date with Georgia in the SEC championship game. The Tigers will try to keep rolling when they host Arkansas on Saturday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: LSU -43.5
LSU is working on fine-tuning its undefeated team and put the focus on defense in practice this week after giving up 614 yards of total offense to Ole Miss in a 58-37 victory last week. "On defense, we got to coach them better," Tigers coach Ed Orgeron told reporters. "Starts with me. We have to put them in better positions. ... Number one, starts with me coaching them better. Number two, we have to make plays when we get in space, make tackles." The Razorbacks will attempt to earn their first SEC win since beating Ole Miss on Oct. 28, 2017 and will be operating under a new coach after dismissing Chad Morris following a 45-19 loss to Western Kentucky on Nov. 9. Assistant coach Barry Lunney Jr. will serve as interim head coach for the final two games and is charged with snapping Arkansas' seven-game losing streak.
ABOUT ARKANSAS (2-8, 0-6 SEC)
The Razorbacks had a bye week to get used to their new coach and Lunney isn’t introducing anything too dramatic so far. “I’m just going to be me on Saturday,” Lunney told reporters. “I’m going to see the game through a difference lens. I have to be a communicator on offense, defense and special teams. I’m going to be making some decisions I’ve never made before, but I’m going to trust my gut. ... I feel like it’s going to go well, but I don’t know what that looks like.” Lunney is not announcing a starting quarterback and could give snaps to K.J. Jefferson, Nick Starkel and John Stephen Jones while leaning heavily on Rakeem Boyd in the run game.
ABOUT LSU (10-0, 6-0)
The Tigers are able to overcome some deficiencies on defense thanks to an offense that averages 47.8 points and rolled up 714 yards against Ole Miss. Quarterback Joe Burrow is the Heisman Trophy frontrunner but has plenty of weapons to work with in LSU’s spread attack and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase is stepping to the front of a talented group. The reigning SEC Player of the Week set a school record for receiving TDs in a season with 13 as part of a 227-yard, three-TD performance last week.
1. LSU S Grant Delpit (ankle) is questionable.
2. Lunney started 40 games at quarterback for Arkansas from 1992-95.
3. The Tigers took the last three meetings, including a 24-17 win at the Razorbacks last season.
PREDICTION: LSU 55, Arkansas 24