No. 12 LSU prepared for typically tough, tight game against Arkansas

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) leaps into the air as he attempts to avoid a tackle by...
LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) leaps into the air as he attempts to avoid a tackle by Mississippi State defenders during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)
Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 9:37 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU coach Brian Kelly referred to the Arkansas Razorbacks this week as a “scary team.”

That doesn’t necessarily jibe with how the oddsmakers see it.

The 12th-ranked Tigers (2-1, 1-0 SEC) are listed as more than two-touchdown favorites by FanDuel Sportsbook for the Saturday night tilt against Arkansas (2-1, 0-0) in Death Valley.

Then again, the annual matchup also known as the “Battle for the Golden Boot” is often close.

Last year, the Tigers narrowly escaped Fayetteville with a 13-10 victory. The previous three meetings, in fact, each has been decided by three points.

“Our guys understand who we’re playing and the tough games that we’ve had with them, including last year,” Kelly said. “So they’ll be prepared for that.”

After being ranked fifth in the preseason AP Top 25 Poll, the Tigers stumbled out of the gate against Florida State, but have since outscored two opponents 113-24 combined and turned heads with their 41-14 victory at Mississippi State last weekend.

“They were incredible,” Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said of LSU’s most recent performance. “They were just all over the place on defense and then they threw the ball well.

“They got embarrassed the first game and they said, ‘We’re better than this,’ which they are,” Pittman added. “I don’t know what the problem was the first game, but they’re playing a lot better.”

Pittman would like to see his team bounce back similarly from its lone loss of the season last week to BYU.

“We’ve still got nine games left. We’re still undefeated in the SEC,” Pittman said., “So, let’s see what happens.

“This is as good a team as we’re going to play,” Pittman added. “This will define a little bit where we’re at. ... If we get prepared, it’ll be a hell of a game.”

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