Arkansas coach Bret Bielema reflected on the 53-52 overtime win over Ole Miss and spoke with confidence about this week’s LSU game during Wednesday’s SEC teleconference call.
“It was a great experience to get out of Ole Miss with that win,” Bielema said. “That was one for the ages. People who saw it got their money’s worth. And so did the people watching on TV.”
And while some Arkansas fans are still using paper bags to catch their breaths from the ending of the Ole Miss game, Bielema said this about No. 9 LSU in Wednesday’s opening statement:
“Now we have a chance to play an upset LSU team.”
An Arkansas win is certainly possible because, well, they knocked off LSU last year to end the Razorbacks’ 17-game conference losing streak. Arkansas didn’t just beat LSU, the Razorbacks shut out the Tigers, 17-0.
Although the teams are different from last year personnel-wise, the two are similar in styles — and that’s something Bielema likes.
“They play a style of offense that I like,” Bielema said. “Their defense has been exceptional. It comes from the lead of coach [Les] Miles.”
Bielema, like many coaches, showered praise on LSU’s bruising sophomore running back Leonard Fournette.
“Offensively I know enough has been written about No. 7,” Bielema said of Fournette. “He’s violent but has patience. He’s smart and he doesn’t think twice. He was really good a year ago, now he’s great.”
Bielema said LSU quarterback Brandon Harris “throws a nice deep ball” but is also efficient in the short passing game. He said Harris “seems comfortable.”
As for the LSU defense, Bielema said although the Tigers lost former coordinator John Chavis to Texas A&M, new coordinator Kevin Steele has the Tigers defense rolling along as usual.
“They still play solid defense,” Bielema said. “They have some nuances that are subtle but they run very well.”
Bielema said the LSU special teams have threats in the return game and they have players who are very gifted.
The Battle of the Golden Boot will be at 7:15 p.m. ET Saturday night. The game can be seen on ESPN.