Arkansas vs. LSU: Live Score, Highlights and Analysis
Arkansas 17 LSU 41 Final
LSU was supposed to coast to the BCS national championship game after defeating Alabama a few weeks ago, but Arkansas had different plans.
The Razorbacks lost to Alabama back in September, but they have fought their way back towards the top of the BCS standings. They currently stand at No. 3 behind the other two SEC West powerhouses, but a win over top-ranked LSU can change that.
Meanwhile, LSU has been rolling throughout the season. Considering they have already beaten six teams in the Top 25, including No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Oregon, the Tigers will not be scared of facing a ranked team.
The average college football fan knows all about the Tigers by now, but Arkansas has a lot more to prove in this game.
It does not have the impressive offensive or defensive numbers that the other top teams have, it was blown out in the second half by Alabama and its best win was against a South Carolina squad that had already lost quarterback Stephen Garcia and running back Marcus Lattimore for the season.
However, a win over LSU would change everything.
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After getting off to a slow start, LSU dominated this football game.
Down 14-0, many teams would panic. However, this is a veteran team that stuck to the game plan and came away with a victory.
The Tigers finished with over 37 minutes of possession after having about five minutes in the first quarter. This was mainly due to out-rushing Arkansas 285-42.
If anyone was questioning who the best team in the country was before this game, they are not anymore.
Arkansas has very little to be ashamed of in this game, and especially this season.
The Razorbacks have a starting quarterback in his first-year leading the offense and its only two losses were on the road against the top-two teams in the nation.
Next year, Tyler Wilson will return along with a good amount of his supporting cast. They will be a very dangerous team in 2012.
When you see an LSU defensive player with the ball, do you expect anyone but No. 7 to have the football?
Tyrann Mathieu gets another turnover, making it his second forced fumble of the game to go with his game-changing punt return for a touchdown.
Amazingly he is only a sophomore.
Contrary to what the announcers believe, the final score does not matter in the title race.
LSU has done more than enough to ensure its place in the BCS title game, even with a loss to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
If you compare the one-loss teams (assuming LSU becomes one of them), you cannot rule out the squad that has beaten three top-three opponents this season.
The only question will be the opponent.
Jordan Jefferson might have sealed it with a 48-yard touchdown run straight up the middle.
Jarrett Lee appeared close to coming into the game in the first half, and had his helmet on the entire game, ready for Les Miles to give the word.
Jefferson did not let the coach make the decision as he kept his fate in his own hands. While the big men up front did most of the work, the carousel of running backs dominated the Arkansas front-seven.
It appears No. 9 is finally comfortable behind center again and his team has his back. There is little doubt now that this is the best team in the country.
Jarrett Lee will only come in now with the game no longer in jeopardy.
Tyler Wilson goes for the home run on the first play and the ball is picked off by Morris Claiborne.
Claiborne is probably the best NFL prospect on this field and will be a very high draft pick in April.
The score means very little as Arkansas is just acting like it has no chance in this game. The body language is terrible and it seems that the last 10 minutes are a formality.
Kenny Hilliard is the workhorse today and he is getting it done.
The Tigers trust the offensive line to win the battle in the trenches, and the defense of Arkansas is winded.
No matter what running back LSU throws out there, they seem to be getting at least five yards every time. I cannot imagine LSU being held to less than a touchdown on this drive.
I expect Les Miles to start getting conservative at this point. Runs on first and second down and avoid any mistakes that can help Arkansas out.
LSU does not want to beat itself.
I hate to brag (actually I love it), but my 31-20 prediction in favor of LSU is looking pretty good right now. Just need an LSU touchdown and Arkansas field goal and we are good.
Tramain Thomas, who has an interception and the forced fumble that led to the touchdown this game, missed a bunch of time on the last drive for Arkansas.
He might be the most important player on that defense and the unit needs him on the field.
Arkansas gives LSU a fourth-down conversion by being in the neutral zone.
LSU responds by giving Michael Ford the ball for a huge run that puts the team in great position to score a touchdown.
Fortunately, the visitors do not give up so easily and the Tigers will be held to a field goal attempt. At most this will remain a one-possession game.
I am sure Arkansas would have liked a touchdown on that drive, but just getting a long drive ending with points will go a long way towards getting the momentum back on its side.
Tyler Wilson is getting hit hard but he is showing his toughness as well as his energy on the sideline. He wants to win this game and the team is rallying around him.
A long play by Cobi Hamilton shows exactly what the Razorbacks need to do this game.
Arkansas continues to forget how dangerous its receivers are with the ball in their hands.
Deep quarterback drops are unnecessary and not productive against this defense.
Tyler Wilson needs to throw short passes and let his receivers do the work.
With the offense in field goal range and all the momentum, the only thing that could have brought Arkansas back into this game was a turnover.
Well that is exactly what happened as Jordan Jefferson tries to force a throw on the sideline.
Arkansas has new life and a chance to come back.
Can Tyler Wilson lead a scoring drive?
I do not understand how Randle continues to be open on third down.
The corners have to respect his speed, but he continues to work to get open on when the Tigers need him to be.
He does not have the type of numbers that Justin Blackmon does, but he is one of the best receivers in the country and will be a very good addition to an NFL team.
If LSU goes on to win this game, all eyes will be on the Alabama-Auburn battle.
Every contender will be rooting for Auburn to pull off the upset, but Alabama will be ready to go and will likely not want the game to even be close.
The Crimson Tide will not spare feelings either. If they are able to put points on the board, they will keep scoring until the clock hits zero. Now is the time for style points, and a big win will try to silence critics that argue if they are the second-best team in the country.
I have also very quickly changed my opinion on Tyrann Mathieu.
Whether you like it or not, the Heisman Trophy often goes to the best player on the best team. LSU is proving that it is the best team in the nation, but there are no players that separate themselves as the best player.
However, Mathieu has had more of an impact on games than anyone else on the team.
He is deserving of a trip to New York as Heisman finalist.
Bobby Petrino: "We're not emotional and fragile."
This game is only a seven-point spread, but mentally it will be hard for Arkansas to get itself back into the game.
If the Razorbacks want any chance, they must score first and get the momentum back on their side.
LSU has shown it is the better team, so if the Tigers play mistake-free in the second half they should come away victorious.
The home fans were scared, but LSU has shown why it is the best team in the country.
Russell Shepard got the touchdown but the constant passing to Rueben Randle put the Tigers in position to score.
LSU is now very much in the driver's seat to continue the dominance it had over the first 11 games this year.
Any points for Arkansas would be important on this drive for the team to win this game.
Arkansas CANNOT allow a touchdown here for LSU.
You can feel good about being down 17-14 at the half on the road against the top team in the country.
However, the players would not feel good about giving up 21 unanswered points after jumping out to a 14-0 lead. That would be tough for the players to think about in the locker room and come back from.
I do not believe Dennis Johnson was down and this will be a fumble.
This could be devastating for an Arkansas team trying to get momentum back on its side.
At least this will not be another 9-6 game.
Fans were terrified of another defensive struggle, and believe anything involving the SEC will be boring because of it.
This game is anything but boring.
I was wrong. I completely underestimated the "Honey Badger" and his playmaking abilities.
Tyrann Mathieu returns the punt 92 yards for a touchdown and the ball game is tied.
Mathieu is the most exciting defensive player in college football since Charles Woodson. If he is not a serious Heisman candidate by next season I will be disappointed.
For some reason LSU gives Arkansas great field position with a pooch kick, but it does not hurt the Tigers as the defense forces a three-and-out.
Still, the Tigers will once again start a drive in poor field position.
Les Miles is doing a great job of continuing the original game plan.
The worst thing a coach can do is start to abandon what got the team to 11-0 in the first place.
The Tigers are continuing the run game and option offense that utilizes Jefferson's strength.
LSU needed points on this drive to keep the confidence in the players running high. They were up to the challenge and came away with a touchdown.
We have ourselves a ball game.
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