Arkansas vs. LSU: How Good Would Razorbacks Be If Knile Davis Was Still Playing?

Tom PerryCorrespondent INovember 25, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04:  Knile Davis #7 of the Arkansas Razorbacks runs the ball against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Knile Davis entered 2011 as a Heisman Trophy front runner.

Following a season-ending ankle injury during a preseason practice, Davis didn't get a chance to show the nation his true talents.

So how good would the Razorbacks be if Davis were playing today against LSU?

There's no question the junior would provide Bobby Petrino with another weapon on offense. Even if Davis had simply equaled last year's performance, the Razorbacks would be a better overall team.

He rushed for 1,322 yards and 13 touchdowns as Arkansas earned a BCS bowl berth in the Sugar Bowl against Ohio State.

The Razorbacks currently rank 72nd in the nation in rushing with an average of 146.4 yards per game. Juniors Dennis Johnson (606 yards) and Ronnie Wingo Jr. (424 yards) have done their best to pick up the slack.

Petrino's offense is more about the passing game, and Tyler Wilson has stepped right in where Ryan Mallett left off with 3,215 yards and 21 touchdowns.

But it's hard to imagine that by having Davis that the Razorbacks would have done much better this season, considering Arkansas is 10-1 and ranked third in the nation.

The only game he could have potentially helped was the loss to Alabama. However, the Crimson Tide rolled Arkansas 38-14 in Tuscaloosa, and Alabama's defense is one of the nation's best against the run.

Now the Razorbacks get another top-notch defense in LSU. A back like Davis would definitely give Arkansas an extra dimension that it would need to pull off the upset.

If last year is any gauge, Davis could have been the difference in Arkansas pulling off the upset against LSU. In last season's 31-23 win, Davis rushed for 152 yards on 30 carries and scored a touchdown.

It's that type of performance that could actually wear down the LSU defense.

Unfortunately, we won't get to see anything from Davis today.