BATON ROUGE — The LSU Tigers are once again SEC West champions.
With Saturday night’s 56-20 victory over visiting Arkansas, No. 1 LSU claimed its first Southeastern Conference Western Division title since 2011. LSU will face Texas A&M next Saturday before taking on SEC East champion Georgia in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta on December 7th.
How It Happened:
LSU struck first as the Tigers went 75 yards on only six plays and found the end zone with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Joe Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase. With only 2:27 into the game, LSU already had a 7-0 lead.
After the two teams traded punts, Arkansas got on the scoreboard with a 49-yard (aided by a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty), 7-play drive which resulted in a 24-yard field goal by Connor Limpert.
At the end of the opening quarter, LSU led 7-3.
After forcing LSU to punt once again, Arkansas went 32 yards on 10 plays and Limpert made his second field goal of the night — this time from 47 yards out.
With 9:43 left in the second quarter, LSU led 7-6.
LSU’s offense responded in a big way.
The Tigers needed only 2:05 to put together a six-play, 75-yard drive, which featured a stellar 30-yard catch by tight end Thaddeus Moss, and was capped with a 2-yard touchdown run by Tyrion Davis-Price. The extra point was good and with 7:38 left in the second quarter, LSU led 14-6.
After forcing another Arkansas punt, LSU’s offense wasted no time once again getting on the score board. The Tigers went 62 yards on only 5 plays and needed only 2:00 to score as Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran in from 27 yards out. The extra point was good and LSU led 21-6 with 3:17 before halftime.
LSU then added another quick scoring drive (9 plays, 90 yards, 1:37) before halftime as Burrow found Justin Jefferson for a 10-yard touchdown drive.
After Arkansas missed a 45-yard field goal to start the second half, LSU’s offense opened up the third quarter with a promising drive, featuring a 13-yard pass from Burrow to Moss, but the drive ended with a turnover. Chase hauled in a pass from Burrow and while fighting for extra yardage was stripped of the ball and the Razorbacks recovered.
Arkansas was unable to turn that turnover into points but LSU wouldn’t have any such issues on their next drive. The Tigers needed only two plays and 43 seconds as Burrow found Chase for a 50-yard touchdown. After the extra point, LSU held a commanding 35-6 lead.
LSU needed even less time to score its next two touchdowns as Edwards-Helaire took a handoff on the first play of the drive and scored a 26-yard touchdown, and then followed that with a 89-yard touchdown run.
Edwards-Helaire’s big night helped LSU make history.
The Tigers became the first program in SEC history to have a 4,000-yard passer (Burrow), a pair of 1,000-yard wide receivers (Chase & Jefferson) and a 1,000-yard rusher (Edwards-Helaire) in the same season.
LSU put in the second-team offense towards the end of the third quarter as the Tigers had built up a 49-6 lead over the Razorbacks.
LSU added to its lead in the fourth quarter with a 39-yard touchdown run by freshman John Emory Jr.
Arkansas scored two touchdowns late with a 24-yard pass from Jack Lindsey to Mike Woods, and then a 2-yard run by Devwah Whaley which was set up by a recovered onsides kick.
Big Number: 6,172
With 612 yards of offense on the evening, LSU set a new single-season program record for total offensive yards. The Tigers now have piled up 6,172 yards on the season, and still have one regular season game and the SEC Championship Game.
Player of the Game: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
The Doak Walker Award semifinalist eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in Saturday’s game after rushing for 188 yards on only 6 carries and scoring three rushing touchdowns. Edwards-Helaire also added 7 receptions for 65 yards. Edwards-Helaire became the 14th different player in LSU history to rush for 1,000 yards or more in a single season.
Next Up: LSU will wrap up the regular season next Saturday at home against Texas A&M. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.