We’re not going to spend a lot of time breaking down this Arkansas game because like Coach O said, they stink. I can’t even imagine the coaching staff would give more than a cursory look at this game. I know LSU does a “tell the truth Monday” thing where they blast the players but, I imagine, especially with it being a holiday week, Monday was a “extra day to prepare for Texas A&M” type of day.
The only thing that is remotely interesting from this game is how Dave Aranda was going to come out and play against another mobile quarterback. I wrote about how last week the defense played relatively vanilla, stayed in two-high, trusted their front and tried to leave without issue. That obviously didn’t work. The tite front gave LSU problems when Ole Miss would get into “tight end trips” formations. LSU ended up playing with a very soft edge with no defensive linemen either side of the tight end. Jacoby Stevens, playing outside linebacker, had to be wide because of the No. 2 receiver. Ole Miss added to this soft edge by reading the defensive end to that side and giving themselves loads of space.
This was a major issue, compounded by the fact that John Rhys Plumlee is blazing fast, the Ole Miss offensive line did a nice job, Grant Delpit was on the field but not playing and K’Lavon Chaisson chased the running back when he should have been the quarterback hitter on certain option plays. A series of unfortunate events.
Aranda came into the game saying screw it, Arkansas is going to put their own speedster quarterback in and run the same formations and plays so we need to switch things up. Obviously, Delpit was out which helped but the first thing the defensive coordinator did was play a lot more 1 high defenses. This loaded the box and dared Arkansas to throw one-on-one routes against LSU’s secondary. Where the ball was getting to Delpit at safety against Ole Miss, the ball really never found its way to Maurice Hampton who was subbing for the All-American.
You can see Jacoby lined up right outside the tight end because he doesn’t have to worry about the slot receiver (off the screen). LSU can set the edge harder and not have to overcompensate to deal with runs getting outside.
The next thing you’ll notice is that inside of Jacoby is Breiden Fehoko who is lined up outside the offensive tackle. When LSU spins down to single-high, there’s a knock-on effect that kinda forces LSU to play a true even/40 front. When Arkansas tried to run the same option schemes that Ole Miss ran, the defensive end could force the read to go inside. The linebacker to that side, naturally aligned inside the defensive end, is in a perfect to attack downhill. The Arkansas tackle has no chance to get to Jacob Phillips in this front.
Nowhere to go with the ball.
That was the main change Aranda made against a severely over matched Hog squad and before some garbage time yards and points, completely shut them down. An easy change up that Aranda already has in the playbook.
On to the Aggies.