BATON ROUGE — The LSU Tigers overcame a sluggish first half to win a shootout with Arkansas 34-31 on Saturday night in Tiger Stadium. With the victory, Brian Kelly’s Tigers improved to 2-0 in Southeastern Conference play.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
After the two squads traded three-and-outs to start the game, Arkansas scored first with a 12-play, 51-yard drive, highlighted by a 25-yard run by KJ Jefferson. The promising drive stalled near the goalline, and the Razorbacks settled for a Cam Little 23-yard field goal.
The two teams then traded turnovers as Jayden Daniels was first intercepted by former LSU defensive back Dwight McGlothern. Jefferson would then be intercepted by former McNeese star Andre Sam.
Arkansas would extend its slim lead with a 13-play, 75-yard drive but it too stalled in the red zone. The Razorbacks had to settle for a Little 23-yard field goal.
With 6:33 left in the second, LSU trailed 6-0.
LSU finally got on the scoreboard late in the second quarter, thanks in large part to a 41-yard run by Josh Williams. The Tigers were unable to punch it in and settled for a 24-yard field goal by Damian Ramos.
Arkansas responded with an eight-play, 75-yard drive and this time the Razorbacks found the end zone. Jefferson rolled out and threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Tyrone Broden. The play was initially ruled an incomplete pass but after a review, it was ruled a touchdown.
LSU needed only 18 seconds to answer as Daniels found Brian Thomas Jr. down the right sideline for a 49-yard touchdown.
At the break, Arkansas led LSU 13-10.
LSU needed only three plays and one minute to take the lead as Daniels found Thomas Jr. open for a 49-yard touchdown.
After Arkansas added a 40-yard field goal by Little, LSU extended its lead with a nine-play drive that saw Daniels throw an eight-yard touchdown to Malik Nabers.
The Razorbacks responded with a six-play, 75-yard drive which ended with a 59-yard touchdown from Jefferson to Luke Hasz, who somehow got behind the defense. Arkansas then tied the game with a two-point pass to Hasz.
LSU’s offense needed nine plays to go 75 yards as Daniels found Nabers open in the back of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown.
Jefferson and the Razorbacks answered right back with a drive that appeared to have ended at the 22-yard line with an incompletion. Harold Perkins Jr. was called for roughing the passer on the play which gave Arkansas the ball at the 11-yard line.
Jefferson took the snap and hit Hasz for an 11-yard touchdown.
LSU got the ball back and put the finishing touches on a three-point victory. The Tigers went 72 yards on nine plays, taking 5:01 off the clock, and finished the final drive with a 20-yard field goal by Ramos.
Arkansas had enough time for one final Hail Mary play but Jefferson’s deep pass was picked off by former Loreauville High star Zy Alexander to seal the win.
BIG NUMBER: 935
After a first quarter dominated by defense, the rest of the game was filled with offensive fireworks. The two teams combined for 935 total yards of offense, with 609 of that coming through the air.
BIG NUMBER II: 4
It was the fourth straight season that “The Battle for the Golden Boot” ended with a final margin of three points.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: MALIK NABERS & BRIAN THOMAS JR.
LSU’s wide receiving duo could not be covered in Saturday night’s game as the pair each had two receiving touchdowns and at least 130 yards. Nabers and Thomas Jr. combined for 13 receptions for 263 yards and four touchdowns.
UP NEXT: LSU (3-1, 2-0 SEC) returns to action next Saturday as they travel to Oxford to take on Ole Miss. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. and you can listen to the action live on ESPN 103.7 Lafayette and 104.1 Lake Charles.