Brandon Allen got to relax a little bit this game. Being carried by the rushing attack and some good defensive play, Allen attempted only 16 passes - about 30 less than the previous week - completing 9 of them for 141 yards and a TD. He looked solid against a rough LSU pass rush, and even had the pocket presence to avoid a few would be sacks. He wasn't as great as he was the last couple of weeks - a few passes were low causing a few incompletions and difficult catches that should have been big gainers, but he did throw a few excellent passes as well, including the third down throw to Jared Cornelius on the field goal drive after LSU cut the lead to seven points.
Just one week after throwing for 400 yards and change, Arkansas flexed its muscles for 299 yards on the ground. That's a scary offense to go up against. Alex Collins was out to remind everyone that RBU resides in Fayetteville, and after an early fumble he ramped up his game, going for 142 yards and 2 TDs. Kody Walker got in on the action by rushing for 88 yards, just three fewer than Leonard Fournette. It was a dominant performance.
After an explosive first half, this unit pretty much were allowed to take 5. After Dominique Reed's blazing 50 yard TD to set the tone, only 3 other WRs notched catches. They were also effective runners, as well. Louisiana native Cornelius showed LSU what they missed out on by breaking up a huge 69 yard TD run that effectively iced the game. Reed blocked his man all the way to the end zone on that play to fee Cornelius. Overall, they didn't get the ball as much since Allen threw so few passes, but they made them count and were effective blockers when necessary.
Nothing like playing a rival to get the best out of each unit. This game saw our offensive line play their best game of the season if you ask me. The blocking was superb, and they were not called for any penalties. Dan Skipper even won SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week.
Well, it finally happened! The defensive line broke through on Saturday in a big way. Almost doubling their season sack total in one game (!) and neutralizing arguably the best running back in the NCAA is no small feat. Deatrich Wise led the team with 2.5 sacks, had 2 pass break ups and even knocked down Harris once more for good measure. Wise must've been possessed by Arkansas D-Linemen past, because he wasn't human out there. DeMarcus Hodge collected two TFLs, Jeremiah Ledbetter notched a half a sack, and despite not showing up on the stats chart, Beanum was a wrecking ball, consistently destroying plays and setting up teammates for sacks and TFLs.
Dre Greenlaw continued his campaign for future All-American with 12 more tackles, a sack and a forced fumble that set up the hot Hog offense in scoring position. He was named SEC Freshman of the Week for his efforts. Brooks Ellis had relatively tame 6 tackles, half a sack, and recovered the fumble Greenlaw forced. This unit helped lock down Fournette in the first half, but made significant strides in tackling. Pass coverage continues to be an issue, but LSU routinely went 4 wide which is not great for linebackers.
Jared Collins and Henre' Toliver combined for 4 pass breakups and 10 tackles, many of which were the result of forced 1 on 1 coverage. After Fournette was neutralized, Harris took to the air trying to exploit Arkansas' main weakness, but the secondary played better than they have in weeks past. Our DBs lost a few one on one battles, but often did just enough in coverage for a sack, or a bad pass. Collins dropped an easy pick in the second half, but DJ Dean came through in garbage time with a pick in the end zone to hold LSU from a late touchdown, which went well with his half sack earlier in the game. The fact is they kept most of the plays in front of them, and only allowed one pass play of 33 yards.
Reed provided some much needed juice to the kickoff return position. Cole Hedlund drove in the only field goal asked of him from 25 yards out and Toby Baker was only asked to punt the ball 2 times. This is life when you play special teams on one of the hottest offenses in the league.
Looking at our final four games, in need of two more wins for bowl eligibility, I said that MSU and Mizzou were Arkansas' best chances of getting to 6-6. Now, with MSU and Mizzou left, we are 6-4 with a real shot at finishing 8-4. After how disastrous this season started, to finish 8-4 would be nothing less than amazing. This shows so much more about Bielema and this team to rally like this to end the season and possibly finish 2nd (or even tied for 1st) in the West is more than I ever imagined a month ago. If we finish with 9 wins after the bowl game I think the sky is the limit for what these coaches and players can do.