After being on the sidelines following one of the worst losses in program history for the last three weeks, the LSU Tigers narrowly avoided another disappointing loss on Saturday afternoon, holding on to take down the Arkansas Razorbacks 27-24.
How It Happened:
It was a slow start for both teams with the first three possessions on the day being punts. However, things started to pick up for LSU on their second possession with TJ Finley connecting with Jaray Jenkins for an 18-yard reception on the first play which was followed by a 20-yard pass to Terrace Marshall to get into enemy territory for the first time in the contest. However, the Tigers were stifled and settled for a 49-yard field goal from Cade York to take an early 3-0 lead.
Arkansas responded late in the first quarter with a pick play that saw former Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks connecting with Treylon Burks for a 65-yard touchdown pass, giving the Razorbacks a 7-3 lead. The Tigers took back the lead following a methodical 10-play drive that ended with Finley connecting with Racey McMath for a 30-yard touchdown pass, making it 10-7.
The game’s pace slowed down once again until the final five minutes of the second quarter when Franks was intercepted by Jabril Cox, who nearly took it to the house before being pushed out of bounds by Arkansas running back Trelon Smith at the one-yard line. Ty Davis-Price then punched it in from one-yard out to make it a 17-7 lead. The Razorbacks offense put together another quick drive after Franks connected with Mike Woods for a 50-yard pass and a pass interference call on LSU’s Jay Ward put them in the redzone and Franks ran it in from 10 yards out to make it 17-14 just before halftime.
LSU ended the first half, extending their lead after a 24-yard field goal as time expired following a 14-play drive. The second half started off slowly largely because of a 12-play drive by LSU that took over six minutes off the clock, but picked up late in the third when Arkansas went on a 95-yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run from Smith to take a 21-20 lead into the fourth quarter.
AJ Reed made it a four-point lead for the Razorbacks, drilling a 22-yard field goal early on in the fourth quarter. After forcing Arkansas to punt, the Tigers had a big call shift the momentum of the game when Jalen Catalon was disqualified for targeting on Kayshon Boutte pushed the Tigers deep into enemy territory. LSU punched it in on third and goal with Finley finding Jenkins in the middle of the endzone to go up 27-24.
Arkansas had one more chance to take the Golden Boot back from the Tigers and marched down the field on an 11-play drive, but AJ Reed’s field goal to tie things up was partially blocked and fell short of the uprights to give LSU the win,
Big Number: 41:43
The LSU Tigers dominated the time of possession, holding on to the ball for 41:43. It was an impressive performance by an offense that just kept the Arkansas defense on the field.
Player of the Game: Andre Anthony
The defensive side of the football has gotten some gripe all season long and justifiably so, but Andre Anthony impressed with two sacks on the afternoon.
Next Up: Saturday vs Texas A&M; Kickoff at 6 pm