Mississippi State at Alabama: These neighboring institutions, separated by only 87 miles, have played 97 times since their first meeting in 1896. Despite the number of contest, Alabama has dominated this rivalry since the arrival of Bear Bryant in 1958. Overall, Alabama leads the series over the Bulldogs; 78 victories, 17 losses and three ties.
First Meeting - November 14, 1896 - Alabama 20, Mississippi State 0
Longest Streak - Alabama, 22 Straight Season (1958–79) – Bear Bryant Era.
Current Win Streak - Alabama, Six Seasons (2008–present)
The Mississippi State Defense is the X-Factor: Moving on to this weekend’s contest look for the Bulldogs defensive unit to win or lose the game for the Fighting Cowbells. Mississippi State’s defense has been very suspect this season, allowing 548 total yards to Alabama-Birmingham, 526 total yards to Texas A&M and 504 total yards to Kentucky. With this statistical note taken into account, it is foreseeable that the Alabama offense will have a huge day. It will be Amari Cooper time, over and over, in Tuscaloosa this weekend.
LSU at Arkansas: Louisiana State University, without any question, is a run first team. And despite its success pounding the ball over the previous three games, the youthful Bayou Bengals are still shaky on the offensive side of the ball. Last week against Alabama, LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings completed 8 of 26 passes for 76 yards, and he has not completed more than 10 passes in a game since the contest against Mississippi State in early September. Arkansas has an above average SEC defensive line, led by defensive end Trey Flower and defensive tackle Darius Philon, that will cause problems for the LSU offensive trench-men. Adding insult to injury, LSU will be without running back Kenny Hillard and will be with only two scholarship tailbacks (Terrence Magee and Leonard Fournette). Moreover, it is believed that the Arkansas coaching staff plan to stack the box forcing the LSU passing game to defeat the Razorbacks. The outcome of this game will be determined by the ability of the LSU passing game to generate big plays through the air.
Series Record - LSU Leads the Series with Arkansas, 37–20 (with two ties)
First Meeting - December 5, 1901 - LSU 15, Arkansas 0
Current Win Streak - LSU, Three Straight Victories (2011–present)
Well…the Razorbacks Will Run the Ball: For Arkansas, the Razorbacks are going to win or lose this contest by running the pigskin. With running back weapons of Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins, whom have combined for 1,717 rushing yards and twenty touchdowns this season, the Razorbacks are going to force LSU to stop the run to have any hopes of winning this critical SEC West game. Overall Arkansas averages nearly 250 yards on the ground per game and have made a living on chewing up the clock along the way.