If you were counting on that Alabama Hangover to cause LSU to lay an egg against the Razorbacks for the third straight year, it didn’t take long for them to establish that wouldn’t be the case.
It shouldn’t have been expected to be the case, what with LSU playing for Ed Orgeron. If there was any chance for him to stick around in Baton Rouge, LSU had to win this game, and they took care of it.
LSU scored on three of their first four drives to put Arkansas in a 21-0 hole that the Hogs never came close to getting out of. After shutting down Leonard Fournette the previous couple of seasons, he and Derrius Guice ran somewhere between “at will” and “seven yards and a cloud of dust.” Guice ended with 252 total rushing yards all by himself. Danny Etling also proved he was no Brandon Harris. He completed 10 of 16 passes and didn’t throw a pick. It proved much more difficult to defend LSU when they’re efficient at quarterback. Who would’ve guessed?
There was a stretch after going down 21-0 when Arkansas allowed just one touchdown on LSU’s next six possessions, but the Tiger defense kept the Razorbacks in check. The Hogs scraped together a pair of big plays in the second quarter and scored on a pretty 44-yard pass from Austin Allen to Dominique Reed sprinting down the left sideline. Arkansas had another opportunity early in the third quarter when they recovered a Fournette fumble, but could only muster a field goal. Arkansas got down the field twice in garbage time, but Allen threw a pick near the end zone and later fumbled a handoff with Devwah Whaley that LSU recovered in the end zone.
A lot of talk will definitely be about Arkansas’ devastating run defense returning to form. A week after holding Florida to 12 rushing yards, LSU totaled 390 yards on the ground, including a 96-yarder to Guice that was the longest play from scrimmage in LSU history. The fact that the Tigers play a pro-style offense, which gave me some hope before the game, turned out not to matter. LSU didn’t need to do anything special to run over Arkansas. They just overpowered the Hogs.
It was the third time an SEC West team ran for 350+ yards against Arkansas this season. That’s a problem. It won’t be fixed this year, but Arkansas won’t play anymore teams with this level of talent this season, either. As we know, the Hogs close the season on the road at Mississippi State and Missouri. That’s not quite LSU and Auburn, but it’s rarely easy on the road. Arkansas still has a chance to improve on last season’s record if they can win both of them, and they have a solid chance to do that.