Score Predictions: Arkansas at LSU
The Arkansas Razorbacks (2-1, 0-0 SEC) and LSU Tigers (2-1, 1-0 SEC) are set to face off Saturday at 6 p.m. CT at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Last year's matchup between the teams in Fayetteville was a low-scoring affair that resulted in a 13-10 win for LSU. Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson did not play due to injury. Former quarterback Malik Hornsby earned the start, but he was eventually replaced by Cade Fortin, who is still with the team.
Jefferson will be healthy this time around as the Hogs will look to pull off the upset over the 12th-ranked Tigers.
LSU is an -17.5-point favorite over the Razorbacks (BetSaracen). Arkansas earned a 16--13 overtime victory over the Tigers last time they played at Death Valley.
Here is how the HawgBeat staff is predicting Saturday's game, which will be broadcast on the ESPN.
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Vegas says LSU -17.5, but on paper this game should be closer than that. Not sure how many points playing at night in Death Valley is worth (has to be more than just a couple). Think Sam + Enos stick to their word after an ugly BYU loss and focus on getting KJ rolling out and moving the pocket more. Look for more quick passes and less slow-developing plays that depend on solid OL play. Expect more throwing than running in this QB battle of some of the SEC’s finest veteran QBs.
Keys to the game:
1. Turnover Battle
3. QB Rushing Yards
4. Sacks (O-line play)
5. Redzone Efficiency
The team that can win 3+ of these categories will win the game. Arkansas covers the spread, but ultimately loses under the lights in Baton Rouge.
LSU 34, Arkansas 21
Mason Choate - Publisher
I've gone back and forth in my head all week trying to convince myself that Arkansas can pull off the upset. But nothing about this team has shown me that it can go into Death Valley and beat the Tigers.
Jayden Daniels was nearly perfect last week when the Tigers dominated Mississippi State, while KJ Jefferson was taking hit after hit in a home loss to BYU. While I think Arkansas will get up for this game and cover the spread, I don't see the Razorbacks pulling off another memorable upset this time around.
LSU 28, Arkansas 24
Riley McFerran - Managing Editor
Can the Razorbacks win this game? Yes, they absolutely can. Arkansas has the quarterback in KJ Jefferson and the defense — at least, though three games — necessary to pull off an upset like this. However…
Will the Razorbacks win this game? No, they won’t. The Hogs’ offensive line has consistently struggled during the first three weeks of the season, and I don’t see that changing too much against an ultra-talented LSU defensive front that includes names like Harold Perkins and Maason Smith. Will Jefferson make some plays? Sure. But I don’t think it’ll be enough to keep up with an electric LSU offense led by Jayden Daniels and Malik Nabers.
Arkansas found a way (multiple ways, really) to lose against BYU. Penalties and questionable in-game coaching decisions doomed the Razorbacks down the stretch. Flip some of those things around, and the Hogs might come out on top over the Cougars.
This isn’t BYU, though. LSU has the talent up and down the roster to win even if the opponent plays a clean game. I don’t know what specifically will lose this game for Sam Pittman and company, but I do know it’s going to take a complete effort from the entire team that we just haven’t seen yet in the 2023 season.
LSU 38, Arkansas 24
Daniel Fair - Football Recruiting Analyst
After a lackluster performance a week ago against BYU, the Hogs will look to bounce back against an LSU team that looked dominant in its first SEC game — a 41-14 win over Mississippi State.
The main thing I want to see Saturday is how the defense responds. They were put in some tough situations with short fields for BYU last week and if you look deeper than the final score didn’t perform poorly. But Jayden Daniels is a much more difficult quarterback to contain.
That also falls on the offense. The Hogs can’t have long stretches with no ball movement, or they’re going to fall behind quickly and not be able to claw back.
All told, I think the Hogs perform better against LSU, but it’s still not enough to get the win.
LSU 24, Arkansas 20
Jackson Collier - Basketball Recruiting Analyst
Arkansas goes into Baton Rouge after a bad, bad loss against BYU. The Razorbacks won nearly every statistical category except for penalty yards, led by double digits on two separate occasions, and still lost.
Razorback head coach Sam Pittman was correct in his Monday presser: you can’t let the Cougars beat you twice.
This game goes one of two ways. The team retools, re-focuses, and puts the season back on track with an unexpected win, or they fall to 2-2 to start a brutal four-game stretch.
Arkansas-LSU as a rivalry game is close more years than it’s not, with some unexpected underdog victories sprinkled in. The Razorbacks have won two recent night games in Baton Rouge, one in 2021 and the other in 2015, the latter of which had Dan Enos calling plays.
In the end, I think the Razorbacks cover, but the LSU defense will really dominate a struggling offensive line and the offense as a whole will struggle.
LSU 31, Arkansas 20
Kevin Bohannon - Baseball Recruiting Analyst
LSU has looked like a top five team since the loss to Florida State. I made the comment earlier in the year that I didn’t understand the hype around Jayden Daniels. He’s proven me wrong the last two weeks.
While the Battle for the Boot is a big deal for Arkansas, it’s third, maybe fourth on LSU’s list of rivalry games.
Brian Kelly has a more talented roster, they’re playing better and it’s a home game at night in Death Valley.
While the Hogs may come out a little inspired with a chip on their shoulder, it’s won’t be enough.
LSU 38, Arkansas 20
RECORDS (Overall, Against the Spread)
Mason Choate: 2-1 overall, 1-2 ATS
Riley McFerran: 2-1 overall, 1-2 ATS
Daniel Fair: 2-1 overall, 1-2 ATS
Jackson Collier: 2-1 overall, 1-2 ATS
Kevin Bohannon: 2-1 overall, 1-2 ATS