After opening up conference play on the road with a convincing 41-14 victory at Mississippi State, the No. 12-ranked LSU Tigers return home to Tiger Stadium and will take on SEC Western Division rival Arkansas. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. Saturday.
The Battle for the Boot has been an annual game played between the two programs every year since 1996, and the winning team gets to possess a 24-karat, 200-pound trophy shaped to look like the states of Louisana and Arkansas.
This will be the earliest the two teams have ever played in a season, and the first time the two teams will not play in November since Arkansas joined the SEC in 1992. The two teams did play 11 times in October during the 1920s and 30s — all those games were played at State Fair Stadium (now Independence Stadium) in Shreveport.
The game has also taken on a bigger meaning this week due to the announcement that LSU fifth-year safety Greg Brooks Jr. has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and had surgery to remove it. Brooks also played three seasons at Arkansas.
PERKINS VS. JEFFERSON
Harold Perkins had a game for the ages last year against Arkansas. In the 13-10 win over LSU, Perkins had eight tackles, and three sacks (tying the program record for a freshman) and forced two fumbles to earn the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honors. That game didn’t feature Arkansas starting quarterback K.J. Jefferson who was sidelined with an injury. Jefferson did play against LSU back in 2021 when he threw for 142 yards rushed for 41 yards and scored one touchdown. This will be the key matchup of the game as the 6-foot-3, 247-pound Jefferson can be a load to bring down and can hurt you with his arm or legs. He has 629 yards passing, completing 71.4 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and only one interception, while also rushing for 80 yards and one rushing touchdown. It is worth noting that Razorbacks star running back Raheim Sanders (who has missed two games) may not play in the game which could put more on Jefferson’s shoulders. Perkins will be asked to shadow and put pressure on Jefferson, and that matchup will likely determine the winner of the game.
DANIELS IS ON FIRE
LSU senior quarterback Jayden Daniels has been on fire to start the season. Daniels has topped the 400-yard mark for total offense twice in three games and now has gone over the 400-yard mark three times in his career, second only to Joe Burrow (6). In last week’s victory in Starkville, Daniels had 15 first-quarter completions which is the most in any quarter in LSU football history, and earned SEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors. For the season, Daniels has thrown for 976 yards and completed 73.7 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns to only one interception. He also leads the team in rushing with 157 yards.
ONE-SIDED BUT CLOSE RIVALRY
LSU has dominated the rivalry series having won the game 18 times in the 27 games played since 1996 — when the game was coined “The Battle of the Boot.” The Tigers have won six of the last seven games, including a 13-10 win in Fayetteville last season which clinched the SEC West title for the Tigers. The lone defeat was a 16-13 overtime defeat in Tiger Stadium back in 2021. LSU leads the all-time series 45-23-2. The contests have traditionally not been close games but there have been stretches of close games. From 2005 to 2009, the game was four times decided by three points or less. The last three seasons have seen the final margin of victory be a mere three points each time.
KJ Jefferson: 55-of-77, 629 yards, 6 TD, INT
AJ Green: 28 carries, 190 yards, 2 TD
Andrew Armstrong: 18 receptions, 197 yards, 3 TD
Jaheim Thomas: 30 tackles (14 solo), 4 TFL, 2.5 sacks
Cam Little: 1-of-2 field goals, Long of 26
Jayden Daniels: 70-of-95, 976 yards, 8 TD, INT
Jayden Daniels: 35 carries, 157 yards, 2 TD
Malik Nabers: 24 receptions, 393 yards, 3 TD
Zy Alexander: 16 tackles (9 solo), 2 PBU
Damian Ramos: 3-for-3, Long of 41