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Tell the Truth Monday: Arkansas

On Mondays, we tell the truth.

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
  • Nothing all too unsurprising here. Early kickoff combined with inferior opponent led to slow start, but, as they have most of the season, LSU used their halftime wisely, adjusted and cleaned things up for the 2nd half.
  • Danny Etling is an okay QB. He finished with a boxscore friendly line, but the plays he fails to make always seem to linger.
  • It’s easy to focus on a player’s negatives, but Etling’s biggest value add is that he will minimize mistakes and rarely put your offense in a hole.
  • That fact has to play a factor to the staff handling the QB position as they have this season. The young defense and multitude of injuries/suspensions didn’t give LSU the wiggle room to break in a young QB who would be prone to making young QB mistakes.
  • The offensive line also started poorly but cleaned things up for the second half. Arkansas is one of the worst pass rushing teams in the conference and yet they were able to get pressure on Etling early.
  • You wonder if shifting Donte Jackson to safety earlier in the season may have paid dividends. He’s been all over the field, and while he dropped a couple of INT opportunities, he’s impacting passing lanes and raising hell.
  • His state line is very Mathieu-esque: 7 tackles, 2 PD, 2 TFL, 1 sack.
  • The fact he recorded the only sack of the day is somewhat surprising. Arkansas has not protected the QB well this season and while Key registered 3 hurries, he and the rest of the defense seemed to narrowly miss closing the deal a lot.
  • Good to see Chark hit pay dirt on offense. He’s a big-play dynamo, which should slide him up to the 1st round in April.
  • Speaking of big plays, LSU’s explosive play bonanza continues. On scoring drives: 5 runs of 12+, 4 passes for 16+ yards.
  • LSU did, however, score without an explosive play, when they started from their own 22 late in the game.
  • Connor Culp majorly got the yips out there. Tough for a kid who had been really solid since winning the job. Maybe O was right that we don’t have a kicker on the roster.
  • No signs of a hangover here. Spirits were high, players played hard, even when things weren’t going perfectly in the 1st half, it never felt like it was because they weren’t focused or playing heartbroken.
  • O’s shown an ability to rally the team, both as an interim and now in his 1st season. Encouraging, but there’s much more to being a successful coach.
  • It’s a shame we didn’t play better in the 1st half, which precluded Brennan from seeing any time. We are missing key opportunities at development and that could bite us next season.
  • We talked about Etling hitting a 300-attempt threshold in the offseason and that seeming doable. He now needs to throw it over 34 att./game to hit that mark. Not happening.
  • This roster isn’t built for it, but once again LSU ranks in the 100s in pass attempts. Remember all the talk about balance? They trashed that for doing what works.
  • This is probably the biggest indictment of Etling and a clear sign that the staff is planning around him and not because of him.
  • That’s good coaching, by the way. Asking your players to do things they don’t do well in loyalty to any ideology is what bad coaches do.
  • Weird game all around in that it never really felt in doubt but also never really felt a blowout. Tied at half, it was more of a minor annoyance than it really felt like Arkansas was going to hang around all afternoon.
  • Yes, they found success on that drive, but otherwise, they were perpetually moving backward on offense. They looked outmatched because they were outmatched.
  • This week shouldn’t be all that different with a program in a free fall now without a coach.
  • LSU is gonna cruise into bowl season 9-3, but damn you State for not initiating a chaos scenario.
  • Could a New Year’s 6 bowl be at play with Georgia’s upset loss this weekend?
  • I forgot last week, but it doesn’t make it any less true: Bourbon, delicious.