FAYETTEVILLE, AR (WAFB) - We've enjoyed an amazing stretch of fall weather during this LSU football season. There's been warm sunshine beaming down, cool temperatures for tailgating and gorgeous blue skies over the various stadiums we've seen the Tigers play in this year. Unfortunately, that's about to come to a very unpleasant and frigid end this weekend in Fayetteville.
Temperatures are forecast to drop to 14 degrees, which apparently is a record low for Fayetteville. Temps are expected to warm to a balmy 29 degrees at kickoff Saturday, as the Arkansas hosts LSU. WAFB-TV videographer Derron Daquano and I even had a dinner that played perfectly into the frosty theme, eating barbecue Thursday night at some place called "Penguin Ed's."
Sports talk radio in Fayetteville, meanwhile, has taken notice of LSU's frigid passing game, with one show comparing sophomore quarterback Anthony Jennings to former Tigers' signal caller Jordan Jefferson. They also posed the question that many LSU fans have asked for years: Why do the Tigers always seem to struggle at quarterback, more often than not? To be fair to Jennings, it's still very early in his career, but fans need to start seeing more progress. He's completed about 40 percent of his passes during the last four games. Although, he's been hurt by drops and other issues. Perhaps the LSU coaching staff still doesn't trust true freshman Brandon Harris fully, but should he just stand by the heater and do nothing Saturday night? Is there any way to heat Harris up on the field some? He's basically played no sustained or meaningful football since his lone start at Auburn, which was a 41-7 disaster on October 11.
As we all know, LSU's 20-13 overtime loss to Alabama last Saturday left almost everyone in the Tiger camp cold and empty on the inside. There goes the Tide chasing another national championship, while the Tigers are a 2.5-point underdog to an Arkansas team that is 0-5 in the SEC and riding a 17-game conference losing streak. College football is a tremendously emotional and draining game, where players sometimes struggle to bounce back quickly, like the more mechanical and "this-is-my-job" professionals. And let's not forget, the Crimson Tide barely beat the Razorbacks 14-13 in Fayetteville.
The true question Saturday night: Can LSU warm up to the idea of playing hard and defeating a Razorbacks' squad that has every reason to want this game more than them? Arkansas is due to finally win one for second year head coach Bret Bielema. Actually, the team is way past due. The conditions will hardly be a beautiful fall afternoon in Athens, Georgia, and in many ways, you can argue this week is even more challenging than last for LSU.
And while it's probably impossible for the Tigers to be as juiced as they were last week charging out of the Tiger Stadium tunnel to 102,000 fans, LSU can still focus properly and get the job done. If the Tigers win this one and then defeat Texas A&M on Thanksgiving Day, LSU will own a 9-3 overall record entering bowl season and head coach Les Miles might be a candidate for some 'Coach of the Year' honors. It would certainly surpass most expectations after LSU's disastrous 0-2 SEC start.
We'll all be watching with great anticipation to see what road the Tigers will take.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter, @jacquesdoucet for the latest on the Tigers/Razorbacks game all weekend, starting Friday.