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The Keys to Victory: What LSU must do to keep the Golden Boot in Baton Rouge

With LSU hosting longtime SEC West rival Arkansas hfor its SEC home, here’s what the Tigers must do to avoid the upset.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 16 LSU at Mississippi State
LSU Tigers linebacker Harold Perkins Jr. (4) celebrates a pass breakup during the game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the LSU Tigers on September 16, 2023 at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field in Starkville, MS.
Photo by Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

No. 12 LSU will square off against Arkansas in the annual Battle for the Golden Boot game.

In last season’s game, LSU narrowly defeated Arkansas 13-10 despite the Razorbacks being without its starting quarterback. LSU linebacker Harold Perkins carried the Tigers to victory on defense as he had eight tackes, three sacks and two forced fumbles in what was his coming out game.

Although Arkansas blew a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter to lose to BYU 38-31 last weekend, the Razorbacks are no pushover. Vegas odds makers have LSU as a favorite by nearly three touchdowns and with the way LSU’s offense has been rolling nobody can blame them. However, the last three games have been decided by three points each.

Here are LSU’s four keys to victory if it wants to avoid the upset against its pesky conference rivals.

The Tigers need to continue to push the ball down the field

If LSU wants to avoid an upset on Saturday night, they must be aggressive and push the ball down the field.

I don’t think this necessarily hinders on Jayden Daniels as he has been awesome from the pocket this year. Daniels has completed 73.6% of his passes along with 976 passing yards, eight touchdowns and an interception in just three games leads. Daniels also leads the SEC in nearly every single passing category.

This key hinders the coaching staff from allowing the offense to let it rip. In recent times, LSU’s offense is at its best when you allow the players to play the game that best suits them which is generally letting the best playmakers make plays in open space.

If the coaching staff allows Daniels to connect with LSU’s talented receivers, it will be another great day for one of the nation’s elite offenses.

LSU cannot let this game get close

Going off of my last, the more aggressive LSU becomes the less likely this game gets close. I know this may sound obvious, but LSU cannot allow this game to get close.

Although Arkansas has had its struggles as of late, this is still a pretty good team. Arkansas not only has an experienced quarterback in KJ Jefferson, but they also have a good running back room along with a solid run defense.

This is also a rivalry game between these two schools so there’s a little extra motivation. It doesn’t matter if Arkansas is a 17.5-point underdog to LSU, when it’s a rivalry all that goes out the window. If LSU can take control of this game early on and maintain it, it will be another long day for LSU’s opponent.

LSU must control the trenches

Arkansas has one of the best rush defenses in the country as the Razorbacks have only allowed 55.7 yards per game on the ground, which is the best in the SEC and fourth nationally.

The defensive line is led by junior defensive end Landon Jackson, who transferred from LSU after the 2021 season. Jackson has two sacks and six tackles for loss this season.

The defensive line also consists of Taurean Carter, Eric Gregory and Trajan Jeffcoat and all three of those guys can bring it to any offensive line in the country.

If LSU wants to take control of this game, they must hinder this ferocious Razorback defensive end

LSU must contain KJ Jefferson

The biggest key in this game will be LSU’s ability to contain Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson. Standing at 6-foot-3 and nearly 250 pounds, Jefferson’s athleticism and size make tackling him out in space difficult.

Jefferson is also an efficient passer as he has completed 71.4% of his passes and has passed for 629 yards with six touchdowns and one interception.

If LSU can keep Jefferson in the pocket, it will be a long day for the Razorbacks.