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Recap: Hogs Fall Short on Upsetting #7 LSU

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — After the Razorbacks dropped last week’s game to Liberty, they hoped to bounce back against the number 7 team in the country, LSU. The Hogs had much to play for; they had a chance to become bowl eligible, keep the “Boot” in Fayetteville, knock off a high-ranked team and ruin their SEC/national championship hopes, but in the end, Arkansas just lacked the juice without KJ Jefferson to finish the upset.

The first half was all defense. On the first drive of the game, Jayden Daniels was sacked back-to-back times and threw a pick on his second pass of the game to Latavius Brini. Arkansas would force LSU to punt two more times, force a fumble, and hold them to just two field goals.

On the other hand, Arkansas’s offense struggled to do anything with the early opportunities. After Brini’s interception, Arkansas produced a 3-and-out and was forced to punt. When LSU fumbled, Arkansas turned the ball over on downs on 3rd and goal. And on the very next drive, Hornsby was strip-sacked and turned the ball over. The Hogs did have a decent 10-play, 46-yard drive that resulted in a field goal.

The Tigers go into halftime up 6-3

The 3rd quarter consisted with much of the same. Arkansas and LSU traded punts the first 2 possessions. On the next drive, Arkansas would questionably go for it on 4th and 2 that resulted in a 12-yard sack, giving LSU a very short field. LSU scored a touchdown on a 1-yard run.

After a not-so-great outing by Malik Hornsby, Pittman would opt for the 3rd string quarterback, Cade Fortin. Fortin’s first outing did not produce great results, but it did show some promise. The Hogs went 3-and-out but the passing game seemed to open just a little more with Fortin.

On the Razorback’s next drive, however, Fortin finally brought the spark the Hogs needed. Arkansas’s defense forced, yet, another LSU punt, downed at the Arkansas 6-yard line. Fortin led the Razorbacks on a 10-play, 94-yard drive capped by a 40-yard strike to Matt Landers to pull within 3 of the Tigers.

Unfortunately, that would be the only spark. The defense held strong, but the offense would only gain 29 more yards the rest of the game. With 1:35 to go in the game, the Hogs had a chance to steal the win but Fortin was strip-sacked by LSU’s Harold Perkins. Perkins completely dominated Arkansas’s O-line, including tying an LSU record with 4 solo sacks.

LSU took possession of the ball with 1:19 to go and ran the clock out in the victory formation. Final score: 13-10 LSU

Arkansas’s offense struggled for the second week in a row. They gained a season-low 249 yards of total offense. The Hogs gain 133-yards on the ground and 116-yards through the air, converting just 6 of 17 3rd downs, and were 0 for 2 on 4th down. Arkansas also turned the ball over twice, both on strip-sacks.

It was also the second week in a row with subpar O-line play. Dalton Wagner was ruled out for the game and LSU decided to pick on his replacement Ty’Kieast Crawford. The O-line allowed 5 sacks, 9 TFLs, and 2 QB hurries. The O-line did not create much push up front either. Raheim Sanders recorded just 46-yards on 12 carries. Malik Hornsby followed close behind with 37-yards on 18 carries, mostly on scramble plays.

Sam Pittman commented on the O-lines play stating, “We’re not blocking them. We’re not blocking them and we’re not breaking any tackles…and part of it is, to be perfectly honest with youwhen they’ve got to respect that the quarterbacks going to pull the ball and throw it. If they don’t, [you’ve] got problems.”

Cade Fortin and Hornsby both played snaps at quarterback throwing for a combined 12/24 for 116-yards and 1 touchdown—8/13, 92 yds, and 1 td for Fortin and 4/9 for 24 yards for Hornsby.

Matt Landers led the Hogs with 69-yards on 2 receptions and the lone offensive touchdown. Jadon Haselwood followed with 5 receptions for 39-yards.

Defensively, you could not have asked for a better game from this crew. The defense only allowed 284 yards of total offense, giving up 198-yards on the ground and a very impressive 86-yards through the air. Arkansas also forced 2 turnovers early in the game, both recovered by Latavius Brini. Most impressively, the Razorbacks sacked Daniels a whopping 7 times.

Drew Sanders was the tackles leader with 12 tackles, 2 solo, and one sack. Bumper Pool also had double-digit tackles with 10 (5 solo). And although he did not have a huge number of tackles, Chris ‘Pooh’ Paul Jr did record the most sacks in the defense with 2.

Arkansas will be back in Fayetteville on November 19th to face Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss.