Rarely does LSU come off the Alabama game in as good of shape as it had been since early in the season, However, that looks to be the case heading into Saturday’s road trip to Fayetteville for the seventh-ranked Tigers.
LSU got three of its top players back for Saturday’s 32-31 overtime win over then-No. 6 Alabama, as Major Burns, Jack Bech, and John Emery Jr. all returned from a hiatus. The news is looking even better for Saturday, as starting guard Garrett Dellinger has worked himself back from a minor knee injury that kept him sidelined for three games.
“Garrett Dellinger looked good. We worked him out yesterday, much better,” Kelly said at his Monday weekly press briefing. “I think he is in a great position that he could play this weekend.”
Backup cornerback Sevyn Banks is still out, while true freshman wide receiver Landon Ibieta is likely out but close to a return.
Outside of that, LSU has the usual M.A.S.H. unit of guys out for the season in starting defensive tackle Maason Smith, reserve wide receiver Chris Hilton Jr. and reserve safety Matthew Langlois.
For Arkansas, all eyes are on starting quarterback KJ Jefferson.
During the bye week ahead of Saturday, October 22, HawgSports’ beat writer, Andrew Ellis, noted Jefferson did not throw during practice as he nursed a shoulder injury. He returned to action the following week and played well against Auburn, throwing for 234 yards and a touchdown, while adding 45 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
QB-2, Malik Hornsby, took most of the reps at practice during the week leading up to Saturday’s 21-19 home loss to Liberty. However, Sam Pittman started and stuck with Jefferson all the way, and he finished 23-of-37 for 284 yards through the air with a couple of scores and two interceptions that were twice as many as he had thrown up to that point in 2022.
Pittman is optimistic his field general will be available for the Battle of the Boot.
“It’s really in his clavicle area,” Pittman said. “It’s bruised. It’s hard for him to throw the ball without some type of pain. I think he feels better than he did last week. So, I expect him to be able to throw (Monday), and if that’s the case, I feel like he’ll be fine by Saturday. Hopefully, we’ll get a good week of practice out of him and go from there.”
Starting safety Myles slusher and reserve defensive back Anthony Brown will both serve 1-game suspensions for their arrests following the loss to Liberty. Slusher started and played in five games this season after starting seven of 11 last year. He has 85 career tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 interceptions and a forced fumble in 22 total games.
Kickoff between the Tigers and the Razorbacks is set for 11 a.m. inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The game will be televised on ESPN with Bob Wischusen handling play-by-play, Dan Orlovsky as the analyst, and Kris Budden reporting from the sideline.
As of Monday, the latest line with Caesars Sportsbook sat at LSU favored by 3.0 points with an over/under at 64.0.
The early weather forecast for Fayetteville calls for a high around 46 degrees, with the temperature in the mid to upper 30s for kickoff and a wind out of the North in the 10-15 MPH range.