Game of the Year: Razorbacks Knock Off No. 1 LSU in Triple OT
And just how many top teams will go down before this crazy 2007 campaign wraps up?
On Friday afternoon in Death Valley, Darren McFadden and the rest of the outstanding Arkansas backfield made their own case for Game of the Year, running over LSU to win 50-48 in triple overtime.
The defeat was LSU's second of the season. Both have come in triple overtime—and both when the Tigers held the No. 1 spot in the rankings.
The Tigers' loss opens the door for West Virginia to walk into the BCS title game, while also giving new hope to Ohio State.
The Hogs led 7-6 at halftime. A wild second half of back-and-forth scoring ended with the game tied at 28.
McFadden's athleticism and versatility were in full force, as he took snaps from center for large portions of the game in place of QB Casey Dick.
McFadden racked up 205 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns on the ground, and also threw a touchdown pass.
Not to be left out, running back Felix Jones and fullback Peyton Hillis broke off numerous big plays as Arkansas controlled the tempo of the game.
Both backs took frequent handoffs from McFadden out of the Wild Hogs formation. Arkansas rushed for 384 yards on the day.
As for big plays—McFadden had a 73-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and Hillis later added a 65-yard score.
The Tiger fans were strangely quiet throughout the game, perhaps mulling the rumors swirling around coach Les Miles and the Michigan head coaching vacancy.
The Tigers themselves seemed just as distracted early, failing to capitalize on a McFadden kickoff return fumble to open the game and only coming away with three points.
McFadden had three fumbles on the day but lost just one.
Tigers QB Matt Flynn had a poor first half, often throwing behind his receivers. He bounced back in the second half and overtime to throw three touchdown passes, but still completed just 22 of his 48 attempts.
LSU had a chance to take a 28-21 lead in the fourth quarter, but a 54-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Hester was called back because of an illegal formation penalty on Early Doucet.
Hester had a huge game, rushing for a career-high 129 yards and two touchdowns.
While Arkansas celebrates its biggest win of the year and first over a top-ranked team since 1982, LSU is left facing questions—the biggest one concerning Miles and Michigan.
The Tigers have been flirting with danger the whole year, but had played well enough to regain the No. 1 spot and the clearest path to the BCS Championship Game.
Now they'll be sitting at home come January 7th.
The remaining BCS contenders had better watch out too—West Virginia has a tough test Saturday against Connecticut, while the winner of Missouri-Kansas will still have to deal with Oklahoma.
The Ohio State Buckeyes, meanwhile, will sit at home and hope that the upsets keep coming in this wild and wacky season.
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