FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - LSU had a chance to cement its place in the College Football playoff conversation and punch its ticket to the SEC Championship Game last weekend but instead got shut out in its own stadium. The 10th-ranked Tigers will try to bounce back and spark a strong stretch run when they visit Arkansas on Saturday.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network. LINE: LSU -13.5
LSU was No. 3 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings on Oct. 30 but tumbled down to No. 7 in this week's rankings after falling 29-0 to top-ranked Alabama last week. "If we win these next three, we're going to be 10-2," Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow told reporters. "If we'd have told you guys we'd be 10-2 at the beginning of the season, you'd have told us we were crazy. We still have a very successful season potentially ahead of us. That's what we're playing for. (A big bowl game) does sit in the back of our mind, but if you focus on that, you can lose track of the day to day, and you can't do that, because you don't get better. If we don't get better, we're going to lose a game." The Razorbacks are toiling along at the bottom of the SEC standings and are trying to get their young players up to speed in the limited time left in the season. "Now that we know we're not going to a bowl, the development in a bowl practice, those 15 extra practices are so much a part of developing your young guys," Arkansas coach Chad Morris told reporters. "So, we've got to find a way now to add a little bit more to it."
ABOUT LSU (7-2, 4-2 SEC)
The Tigers came into the Alabama matchup with some questions about their offense and answered none of them while recording 196 total yards (12 rushing). "Start with me," LSU coach Ed Orgeron told reporters. "Coach better. Put our guys in better position. Schemes could have been better. The guys did a good job for the most part but there's some things that we could have done better for our team. That's number one. Number two is execute better. There was some execution that wasn't done, and it cost us." Running back Nick Brossette scored at least one touchdown in each of the previous five games but was held to five yards on seven carries against the Crimson Tide.
ABOUT ARKANSAS (2-7, 0-5)
The Razorbacks are winless in SEC play and are playing their final home game before finishing at Mississippi State and Missouri. Defensive coordinator John Chavis is all about building for the future, but he also wants to see if his unit can do its part to get the team a couple more wins before the end of the campaign. "It's win first, build second. You've heard me say that in here, and if it means playing two linebackers the entire game and that's the best way to win, then that's what we'll do," Chavis told reporters. "But certainly, we've got to keep developing this football team here. You're tempted to lean that way a little bit, and we'll see how things go, but I promise you this: I couldn't look myself in the mirror if I came in here and said we're building this program for next year. We're working every day to be our best and to go win."
1. LSU has not lost consecutive games since dropping three in a row in November 2015.
2. Arkansas RB Rakeem Boyd rushed for a season-high 113 yards on 19 carries in the last game on Oct. 27.
3. The Tigers have taken the last two and five of the last seven meetings with the Razorbacks.
PREDICTION: LSU 35, Arkansas 17
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