It's no secret how Arkansas has shut out its last two opponents. They've played field position football to the maximum degree.
The Hogs have eliminated all but one turnover and that was a tipped ball that led to a pass interception at the opponent's 14-yard line, hardly more than a good punt. And, they've feasted on takeaways provided by the defense and special teams.
That will be the forumla for an easy victory Saturday when hapless Louisiana-Lafayette comes to Reynolds Razorback Stadium for the final game in the Ozark for a small, but productive senior class led by Fred Talley, Raymond House and Nathan Ball.
It's obvious as to the keys to victory for this week. The Hogs must continue to take care of the football, but also must play with more intensity than they managed two weeks ago on offense against Troy State.
It will be interesting to see if the Hogs maintain the focus they've had over the last three weeks since the arrest of Jermaine Brooks. Obviously, the team came together after that blow and has played in a more consistent basis, especially on defense and with the special teams. So, one of the major keys will be whether or not Arkansas can maintain this focus.
Arkansas would like to establish the running game, but will have to do it against an eight-man front. However, this isn't the same kind of defensive pressure the Hogs have faced over the last three weeks. ULL hasn't stopped anyone, much less an SEC-caliber foe. It will be interesting to see what big Zac Tubbs will do in his first collegiate start. Can the Hogs run behind Tubbs and Jason Peters, the bell cow tight end, like they ran behind Andrews and Peters. I suspect they can.
Defensively, the Hogs must contain an offense that has shown an ability to hit a big play with its fast wide receivers. Houston Nutt was impressed when he saw ULL's wideouts on film and said that they provided a good test as far as speed against the UA's Lawrence Richardson and Batman Carroll. So this may be the key matchup on the day.
Another key should be the way the Hogs pass the ball. There has been improvement of late in the passing game, and it's certain that ULL will stack eight and nine men on the line of scrimmage. It's their base defense anyway, and that seems to be what everyone has been doing of late against the UA's potent smashmouth running game.
The Hogs need a good push at the outset to let a heavy underdog know that it is outmatched. If the Hogs can't do that, it will make for a long day. So, how the Hogs play in the first 15 minutes is a huge key.
Arkansas' offense has not been terribly productive in the red zone over the past month, and it needs to establish something good for confidence heading into the final two league games against Mississippi State and LSU. So, productivity in the red zone is another key to how this game will be viewed.
Keys to Victory: ULL
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