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Texas A&M Football

SEC Round-Up: LSU must upset Hogs to avoid record lows for defending champs

November 19, 2020
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It’s been foretold that someday lambs would lay down with lions.

But who could’ve foretold that Hogs would lay odds to Tigers?

Of all the bizarre occurrences of 2020, perhaps the oddest is that Arkansas is a 1.5-point favorite against LSU.

We’ve seen this coming. Yet, we never saw it coming. How could we?

A year ago, LSU was hailed as perhaps the best team in college football history. The Tigers steamrolled opponent after opponent on their way to a national championship.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
First-year head coach Sam Pittman has led a very shocking turnaround in Fayetteville.

Meanwhile, Arkansas was typically getting steamrolled by Auburn and Alabama and … Western Kentucky. That’s right. Western Kentucky blasted Arkansas, 45-19.

A week later, the Razorbacks (who would finish 2-10) were 42-point underdogs to LSU. At least they covered. LSU prevailed 56-20.

A lot can change in a year, but this is ridiculous.

Arkansas enters this year’s clash in Baton Rouge with a mere three victories, which is one more than LSU has managed.

By now, the stories are well known.

Arkansas upgraded with Sam Pittman as its new head coach. Quarterback Feleipe Franks transferred in from Florida to connect with a good group of receivers. The Razorbacks defense has proved opportunistic and leads the nation in interceptions.

Consequently, the Razorbacks aren’t the pushovers they’ve been in the previous three seasons when they managed a total of eight wins — one in SEC play.

On the other hand, starters from LSU’s championship team left in droves for the NFL. So did passing coordinator Joe Brady. Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda accepted the head coach position at Baylor.

More starters opted out. Some were injured. New defensive coordinator Bo Pelini’s concepts aren’t working.

LSU is again on the verge of making history, but this time for dubious reasons.

The Tigers have managed just two victories. They need at least one more to avoid setting a record for fewest losses the season following a national championship.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
LSU has won the last four meetings between the Tigers and Razorbacks.

TCU managed three wins following its 1938 national title. Michigan State also posted three victories after sharing the 1967 national title with Notre Dame.

Avoiding that wretched designation probably requires LSU to … yes … upset Arkansas.

The Tigers' remaining games figure to be even more difficult. They face No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 6 Florida, No. 1 Alabama and high-scoring Ole Miss, which projects as a major problem for an LSU pass defense that’s the worst in the SEC.

Lambs might have a better chance with lions.

Around the SEC

This week’s games: No. 6 Florida at Vanderbilt; LSU at Arkansas; Kentucky at No. 1 Alabama; Tennessee at No. 23 Auburn; Mississippi State at No. 13 Georgia; Missouri at South Carolina

Postponed: Ole Miss at No. 5 Texas A&M

Who’s hot: Florida quarterback Kyle Trask practically owns this space. He’s thrown at least four touchdown passes in every game. That includes six in last week’s 63-35 victory over Arkansas. That streak isn’t likely to end soon. Next, Trask faces Vanderbilt, which allowed four touchdown passes in a loss to LSU and seven in a loss to Ole Miss.

Who’s not: South Carolina’s defense is on the verge of a total collapse. The Gamecocks have allowed 159 points in their last three games. If that’s not bad enough, starting cornerbacks Jaycee Horn and Israel Mukuamu announced they were opting out to prepare for the NFL draft. It gets worse. Starting safety R.J. Roderick also announced he’s opting out because of COVID-19 concerns. Still not finished. Defensive end Aaron Sterling and linebacker Brad Johnson, both starters, will miss the remainder of the season with injuries. Former starting offensive lineman Jordan Rhodes is moving to the defensive line to provide help. Reserve running back ZaQuadre White is shifting to safety.

Gainesville Sun-USA TODAY Sports
Missouri has not played since their conest with Florida on October 31.

Keep an eye on: Missouri’s COVID-19 testing numbers are being closely monitored this week. The Tigers, who have not played since Halloween, reportedly had 56 scholarship players available after Tuesday testing. That’s just three over the SEC minimum to play. Last week, Missouri had to postpone their game against Georgia because they had fewer than four available scholarship defensive linemen.

The pressure is on: Freshman T.J. Finley is now entrenched as LSU’s starting quarterback. He looked good in a win over South Carolina but appeared inept in a loss to Auburn. He threw two interceptions that led to Auburn touchdowns and lost a fumble that was returned for another touchdown. He faces an opportunistic Arkansas defense, which leads the nation with 13 interceptions. As if that’s not enough pressure on Finley, Arkansas has won all three games in which they have had two or more interceptions.

Best matchup: Despite all of Kentucky’s struggles, the Wildcats’ running game has been productive. Kentucky averages 195 yards to rank second in the SEC in rushing offense. That running game must remain productive against Alabama, which is ranked fourth in the SEC in run defense. The Tide has held five of its six opponents to 145 yards or less. Kentucky won’t beat Alabama, but the Wildcats hope their running game can at least keep it interesting.

Discussion from...

SEC Round-Up: LSU must upset Hogs to avoid record lows for defending champs

1,917 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 7 days ago by Gil Renard
agent-maroon
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AG
Quote:

The Tigers have managed just two victories. They need at least one more to avoid setting a record for fewest losses victories the season following a national championship.

-or-

The Tigers have managed just two victories. They need at least one more to avoid setting a record for fewest most losses the season following a national championship.
FIFY
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Jarrin' Jay
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FYI LSU - Pig game is in Fayetteville, Arkansas this weekend.
shadythomas
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agent-maroon said:

Quote:

The Tigers have managed just two victories. They need at least one more to avoid setting a record for fewest losses victories the season following a national championship.

-or-

The Tigers have managed just two victories. They need at least one more to avoid setting a record for fewest most losses the season following a national championship.
FIFY


Your two options are not interchangeable. "Fewest victories" is not the same as "most losses". You want the former, Fewest victories, since the record for them to avoid breaking is 3 victories following a national championship season. Meanwhile the latter, most losses, shouldn't even have been mentioned as an option in the correction.
agent-maroon
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AG
shadythomas said:

agent-maroon said:

Quote:

The Tigers have managed just two victories. They need at least one more to avoid setting a record for fewest losses victories the season following a national championship.

-or-

The Tigers have managed just two victories. They need at least one more to avoid setting a record for fewest most losses the season following a national championship.
FIFY


Your two options are not interchangeable. "Fewest victories" is not the same as "most losses". You want the former, Fewest victories, since the record for them to avoid breaking is 3 victories following a national championship season. Meanwhile the latter, most losses, shouldn't even have been mentioned as an option in the correction.
You think maybe that's why I typed " -or- " in between the two choices? I was trying to tip the author that his statement didn't make sense.
No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See full Medical Disclaimer.
Gil Renard
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AG
This whole board is Arkansas fan this week. WPS
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