LSU-Arkansas grades: Guice breakout game fuels Tigers win

The highest-graded players and biggest takeaways from the Tigers' win over the Razorbacks.

| 3 weeks ago
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

LSU-Arkansas grades: Guice breakout game fuels Tigers win


LSU Tigers 38, Arkansas Razorbacks 10

Here are the highest-graded players and biggest takeaways from the Tigers’ win over the Razorbacks:

LSU Tigers

Quarterback grade: Danny Etling, 67.7

This game highlighted precisely the offensive gameplan that can help the Tigers excel, and saw them take the ball out of Etling’s hands a lot. As well as a strong running game, LSU attempted just six passes travelling 10 yards or more downfield, instead opting to find their receivers in space or on shorter routes like hitches. We’ve seen LSU in the past go for the deep ball far too often, but in this game Etling attempted just two passes travelling 20 yards or further downfield, completing one for 48 yards.

Top offensive grades

HB Derrius Guice, 89.1
G Will Clapp, 77.6
OT K.J. Malone, 76.8
HB Leonard Fournette, 76.4
FB J.D. Moore, 76.2

Guice seizes the opportunity

While Leonard Fournette receives all the attention, it’s not all about him in the LSU backfield. We’ve seen sophomore Derrius Guice flash big-time potential with some big games earlier in the year, but this was his breakout. On 21 carries he rushed for 252 yards, forcing seven missed tackles and averaging 5.6 yards after contact per carry. Leonard Fournette will almost definitely leave for the NFL in the spring, but Guice is showing that he has the ability to be the next great running back in the SEC.

Top defensive grades

LB Dwayne Thomas, 82.5
DI Davon Godchaux, 82.4
ED Arden Key, 80.5
S Jamal Adams, 80.0
ED Tashawn Bower, 75.9

Key impresses once again

The stat sheet doesn’t show this as another impressive performance for LSU’s star pass-rusher, but the grades prove otherwise. Key rushes the passer 27 times, and while he registered just one sack, that doesn’t tell the whole story. He also registered a quarterback hurry, shown below, on 1st-and-10 with 7:43 left in the game, breezing past left tackle Dan Skipper. Shortly after he would have beat him with a spin again, forcing Skipper into a holding penalty, and then finished the drive with a batted pass down near the goal line.

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Arkansas Razorbacks

Quarterback grade: Austin Allen, 55.8

Allen’s rough second half to the season continued with another poor showing against LSU, and he really struggled to move the ball downfield consistently. Poor decisions led to interceptions, and by the end of the game he had completed just two of the 10 passes he attempted travelling 10 yards or further downfield. In particular, inaccuracy really hurt him in the 10-19 yard range, where he failed to complete any of the six passes he attempted and threw two poor interceptions.

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Top offensive grades

C Frank Ragnow, 83.0
T Brian Wallace, 78.4
G Hjalte Froholdt, 69.3
WR Jared Cornelius, 67.6
HB Rawleigh Williams III, 64.5

Ragnow stands out again

There weren’t many standouts on the offensive line, but once again it was center Frank Ragnow who impressed. Our highest-graded center on the year coming into the game, that’s unlikely to change this week based on how he performed. He made several impressive blocks in the running game, and continues to look at his best on the move, where he can lock onto linebackers at the second level. In pass protection he didn’t allow a single sack, hit or hurry from 37 snaps, and has now allowed just 10 total pressures in 2016.

Top defensive grades

LB De’Jon Harris, 81.1
DI Bijhon Jackson, 79.3
CB Jared Collins, 77.5
DI Taiwan Johnson, 76.4
LB Dwayne Eugene, 73.5

Harris flashes at linebacker

In a season during which Arkansas has looked very good at times, but not good enough against the top teams in the SEC, it’s nice to be able to point toward reasons for optimism. One such reason is the play of linebacker Je’Jon Harris, who saw his highest snap count of his collegiate career so far and made the most of it. On the field for 21 snaps against the run, all four of his solo tackles resulted in a defensive stop, giving him an impressive run stop percentage of 19.0 for the game.

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

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