1. Roll With the Punches
Tiger Stadium has been a daunting venue for opponents. So Arkansas will face plenty of adversity there, too. How will the Razorbacks handle it? Arkansas can’t led mistakes linger or the Tigers will have no trouble trouncing the Hogs.
2. Third-Down Success
LSU’s offense has been remarkable on third down, converting an SEC-best 59 percent. The Razorbacks, meanwhile, are near the bottom of the league in third-down defense (42 percent). It must change against the high-powered Tigers.
3. Win Turnover Battle
Arkansas’ turnover woes continued to bite at inopportune times in the Mississippi State loss. Alex Collins’ red zone fumble in the fourth quarter was one of the keys to the game. Ball security and good decisions are vital against the opportunistic Tigers.
4. Positive Passing Plays
Arkansas needs to run the ball against LSU. Its passing offense has to help make it possible. Brandon Allen’s efficiency has improved in the past two games, completing 57 percent. He needs to take another step today for the Hogs to have any chance.
5. Sound on Special Teams
LSU has scored 20 special teams touchdowns under Les Miles and three of them have come against the Razorbacks. Arkansas, which was burned by Tyrann Mathieu’s punt return in 2011, must keep WR Odell Beckham Jr. under wraps.
TODAY’S KEY MATCHUP
Arkansas CB Jared Collins (6-0, 175, RS-Fr.)
Key Statistics: 21 tackles, 1 interception
Collins wasn’t perfect in his first start, but the redshirt freshman made two memorable plays against MSU. The first was breaking up a pass in the end zone to help the Hogs force a field goal. He later grabbed an interception, which Arkansas turned into the go-ahead touchdown in the second half. It’s not clear if Collins will start again today, but he and the rest of Arkansas’ corners face their biggest challenge of the season. LSU’s tandem of Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry is dangerous, combining for 123 catches, 2,160 yards and 18 touchdowns this season.
LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr. (6-0, 193, Jr.)
Key Statistics: 56 catches, 1,101 yards, 8 touchdowns
Beckham Jr. has teamed with Jarvis Landry to form the SEC’s most productive receiving duo. The junior leads the Tigers in receiving yards (1,101) and ranks third in the SEC in receiving yards a game (100.1). He also has topped the 100-yard mark in team-best five games and is averaging a school-best 19.7 yards a catch. The veteran is a dangerous return man, too, who is second in the nation in all-purpose yards (197.7 yards). He’s averaging 20.9 every time he touches the ball, which means Collins and the Arkansas secondary will have their hands full this afternoon.
EDGE: LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr.