LSU coach Les Miles said Wednesday that he expects an emotional effort fromArkansasin the regular-season finale Friday inFayetteville,Ark.
The Razorbacks (4-7 and 2-5 in the Southeastern Conference) have been one of the most disappointing teams in the country under interim coach John L. Smith. But they could end their season and the seniors’ careers on a positive note by upsetting the eighth-ranked Tigers (9-2 and 5-2).
“This is a very talentedArkansasteam,” Miles said during his stint on the weekly SEC coaches teleconference. “I know it will be a very emotional day. I know there will be some tears as (the seniors) will have looked back at their careers.
“You look at the film and it’s very easy to respect this opponent. They’re very talented, they can defend the run, throw the ball and they have quality special teams. We will have to play well.”
LSU can remain in contention for a BCS bowl by beatingArkansas. A victory would also keep the Tigers alive for the SEC West title, though they would also need a Texas A&M victory againstMissouriand a monumental upset byAuburnagainstAlabama.
“We still have a very strong position,” Miles said. “We have to make sure we do the right things and finish strong and see where that puts us.”
He said he remembers playing several games against top-flight Razorbacks teams, including 2007 when running back Darren McFadden helpedArkansasdefeat LSU in triple overtime in Tiger Stadium. That game seemed to derail the Tigers’ BCS title hopes, though they rebounded and got the necessary help to advance and ultimately win the championship.
Miles said he is “enjoying” LSU’s new-found balance on offense with the emergence of the passing game the last three games.
“I have always enjoyed balance,” Miles said. “It’s a key piece to the offense that says when you line up against a defense that defense is going to have to defend the run and defend the pass on every down.”