Arkansas sidesteps roar of Tiger Stadium with day game at LSU

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas is facing long odds at LSU this Saturday. The Hogs are 16½-point underdogs and facing a Tigers team intent on bouncing back after losing at Alabama.

One thing seemingly playing in the Hogs’ favor, though: They won’t have to see Tiger Stadium at night.

The Battle for the Golden Boot between the Hogs (4-5, 1-4 SEC) and Tigers (6-3, 3-2) is set to kick off at 11 a.m. CT. That’s a decision made by the television networks — one that likely reduces LSU’s home-field advantage.

“I’m glad we’re not playing them at night,” said Arkansas wide receivers coach Michael Smith, who is a New Orleans native.

Tiger Stadium is known to be one of college football’s loudest, toughest venues for opponents under the lights. LSU wins 74.6 percent of its home games when playing at night, compared to 66.5 percent during the day.

Night games are a significant part of LSU’s tradition, and the TV networks generally give the Tigers kickoff times they desire. Infact, this is just the 12th time since 1969 LSU has had a home kickoff set for noon or earlier, according to a report from The Advocate.

“Our fans don’t like it. I don’t either,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva told The Advocate. “I picked up the phone immediately and worked through the SEC to get it changed. The SEC fought for us. They always do on these things.

“We have a great contract with ESPN that affords us a lot of opportunity for exposure and has been very profitable for this program. But every now and then, very rarely, this happens with TV scheduling.”

CBS gets first pick among SEC games each week for its 2:30 p.m. CT game. The network chose Georgia at Auburn for Saturday. This week, CBS also has an 11 a.m. slot for a game. That game will feature South Carolina at Florida. It’s the one Saturday a year that CBS features a daytime SEC doubleheader.

ESPN chose Alabama at Mississippi State for its 6 p.m. game, which left Hogs-Tigers for ESPN’s 11 a.m. game.

No player on LSU’s roster has played in a kickoff before noon at Tiger Stadium. The last time LSU had such an early game was an 11 a.m. start against Kentucky in 2011, a 35-7 Tigers’ victory.

However, there’s another statistic that favors Arkansas on Saturday. Teams are 1-5 in games the week after playing Alabama this season. The lone win was Texas A&M’s 19-17 victory against Florida last month.

This will be the fourth consecutive season LSU has faced Arkansas immediately after playing Alabama. The Razorbacks are 2-1 in those games, including a 31-14 victory in 2015 — the last time they were in Baton Rouge.

The 2017 Hogs probably need all the breaks they can get if they’re going to pull an upset Saturday. For their sake, getting a couple based on the schedule is a good start.

Arkansas is 5-5 in past 10 years against LSU:

  Year Result Site
 2016  No. 19 LSU 38, Arkansas 10  Fayetteville
 2015  Arkansas 31, No. 9 LSU 14  Baton Rouge
 2014  Arkansas 17, No. 20 LSU 0  Fayetteville
 2013  No. 15 LSU 31, Arkansas 27  Baton Rouge
 2012  No. 8 LSU 20, Arkansas 13  Fayetteville
 2011  No. 1 LSU 41, No. 3 Arkansas 17  Baton Rouge
 2010  No. 12 Arkansas 31, No. 6 LSU 23  Fayetteville
 2009  No. 17 LSU 33, Arkansas 30  Baton Rouge
 2008  Arkansas 31, LSU 30  Fayetteville
 2007  Arkansas 50, No. 1 LSU 48  Baton Rouge

The post Arkansas sidesteps roar of Tiger Stadium with day game at LSU appeared first on SEC Country.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.