Keys to Victory: LSU

Here are Clay's Keys to Victory for the showdown in Little Rock with LSU.

It's the same song sixth verse, in my opinion. In other words, Arkansas must continue to do what it's done so well the last five weeks in its five-game winning streak and that's to take care of the football, don't give up big plays and make no mistakes in the kicking game.

If the Hogs do those three things to the hilt, they have a great chance to beat a struggling LSU team in Little Rock on Friday. And, that will give them the SEC West title and a trip to Atlanta to play Georgia's Bulldogs.

Of course, the better the opposition, the tougher it is to do those three things well. Good teams have a way of forcing some turnovers since they can blow up your blockers and wreak havoc with penetration. So, it's not as simple as just playing sound. The Hogs must win some battles up front with LSU's defensive line and get some stalemates, too.

The good news is that Arkansas is relatively injury free in the trenches despite nine straight weeks with weekend football. Shawn Andrews appears ready to roll after sticking to his rehab duties with his weak ankles over the last three weeks. He was literally like a cat on a hot tin roof this week in practice, quick and fast as he popped out of the huddle. I haven't seen him move around this well all season, and it is obvious his motor is running fast.

Andrews will be one to watch throughout the game, if you want to pick a matchup. He was beaten often in last year's game at LSU in what was his poorest game of the season. He is anxious to have a great game this time around.

There were several instances in practice this week where he encouraged his teammates to "get it right" and chastised those that weren't getting it right. I thought it was a great sign that Andrews was putting emotion into practice early in the week. It was clear he was "into it" from the outset of the week.

Hopefully, the Hogs are not so "jacked" that they make mistakes. That was the case in the Alabama game earlier this year, especially for Tony Bua. This is a huge game for Bua since he's a Louisiana native. Bua was upset that the Hogs couldn't get it done last year at Tiger Stadium. He had several chances to make plays against Josh Reed as the game climaxed, but couldn't quite handle the assignment.

One of the good things is that the Hogs have kept their trash talking to a minimum this week. Last year, Lawrence Richardson  did too much talking, especially concerning his plans to cover Josh Reed. Of course, Reed abused Richardson throughout the game, making big plays throughout, and that was the difference in the game.

This year, the Hogs need to focus on the game and less on the talking aspect. They seem to have gotten the message of late on the talking, and cut it out in a big way. If they can maintain that this week, it will serve them well.


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