"To our fans, that was awesome right there at the end to see a lot of Arkansas people out there smiling from ear to ear," Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said. "To get two in a row on LSU, especially one over here at night and what we heard about all week, truly does represent what we are all about." The Razorbacks have won four traight games since their bye week last month.
“I just want to say thanks to our coaches and players," Bielema said. "I thought they put in another great work week, one day at a time. I explained in the locker room that the only way you get to this point is to just truly focus on that task, where this league lays out and to play the games we have to play. If you try to jump to the end, you’re never going to get there to where you want to be."
LSU head coach Les Miles did not want to hear that his team had a hangover from last week's 30-16 loss at Alabama.
"Anyone who would think this is a hangover from the Alabama game, that is absolutely untrue," Miles said. "I thought they fought. I thought they made mistakes. They wanted this game."
The loss took the Tigers (7-2, 4-2) out of the race for the College Football Playoffs and actually moved the Razorbacks into a tie for second in the SEC Western Division.
"I think our team is going to have a difficult time with this film," Miles said. "Not their effort, but their realization of the position they just vacated. This was mine. This was absolutely my fault. I promise you we will be better. I thought the kids played their hearts out. We just didn’t give them the right stuff.”
It was the second straight season that Arkansas had handed LSU a loss with a 17-0 win in Fayetteville last season ending a 17-game SEC losing streak for the Razorbacks, who have now won six of their last nine SEC games.
“I can’t explain," Miles said. "The quality team happens to show up at a time we are mistake ridden as opposed to another spot on our schedule. It just happens. We have to play better. We have to get it fixed, and that’s me." Arkansas used a series of big plays to build a 21-0 lead in the second quarter, stunning the majority of 101,699 in attendance. Dominique Reed scored on a 52-yard touchdown reception and Alex Collins had an 80-yard run to give the Razorbacks a 14-0 lead.
“It was huge," Bielema said. "Dominique can turn a little bit of something into a lot. He’s probably, in my opinion, the one thing that has changed from year one to year two. To have a guy with that kind of ability and that type of speed that hopefully can give us the kind of ability to get a couple more just like him because he can change the game in an instant.
"Alex Collins hit a little inside power play with a little bit of ghost motion. I think part of that was because the wide receivers in motion, which takes those linebackers eyes off the fill that you needed to fill and it turns a routine play into a big hit. A lot of really good design right there that I think comes from both players and coaches.” Arkansas added to the advantage late in the second quarter after Dre Greenlaw forced a fumble by LSU quarterback Brandon Harris and Brooks Ellis recovered it at the 11-yard line. Arkansas needed only two runs by Collins to extend its lead, going up 21-0 on Collins' 5-yard run with 3:55 left in the second quarter. Collins finished with 141 yards on 16 carries. He became the first Arkansas player since Darren McFadden to rush for 100 yards at least eight times in a season. LSU (7-2, 4-2 SEC) cut the deficit to 21-7 at halftime. Following Collins' second touchdown run, the Tigers went 92 yards in nine plays - all passing - and capped by a 5-yard reception by Malachi Dupre with 24 seconds left in the second quarter. Dupre caught the pass off a deflection by LSU receiver Travin Dural, converting a third-and-goal for the Tigers.
Tigers running back Leonard Fournette caught two passes on the drive, but didn't carry the ball. Fournette, college football's leading rusher this season, was bottled up for the much of the first half, rushing 10 times for 34 yards. Fournette finished the game with 91 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.
"Our defense really responded well after last week, I had a feeling they would," Bielema said. "Anytime (defensvie coordiantor) Robb (Smith) and that staff has time to stew on things, I knew they would respond very well. I don’t even know how many Fournette ended up with in the end but I knew we would shut that off and really try to make it into a game where they would beat us in the air." LSU pulled within 21-14 early in the third quarter on Fournette's 1-yard touchdown run, but the Razorbacks added a 25-yard field goal by Cole Hedlund later in the quarter to push the lead back out to double-digits. Arkansas extended the lead to 31-14 on Jared Cornelius' 69-yard run with 10:18 left in the fourth quarter. The Razorbacks out-gained LSU 440-330 yards in total offense as offensive coordiantor Dan Enos kept things clicking.
"I can’t say enough about my offensive coaches, Coach Enos and our coaches have really just focused in on who our playmakers are and have done a tremendous job of getting the ball in their hands," Bielema said. "Just a simple play like, well not a simple play,when Jared (Cornelius) broke the game open at the end to see him run that and to see Dominique Reed block that guy down on the ten-yard line for like 30 seconds.
"I guarantee you that Dominique Reed did not come to Arkansas to block, but he does it because he’s bought in, he loves it and it’s an absolutely fun time to be around." Arkansas has won three road games in the same season for the first time since 2010.
The Razorbacks are scheduled to finish the year with back-to-back home games, beginning next Saturday with No. 17 Mississippi State at 6 p.m.
Jared Cornelius breaks away on a 69-yard run that put the game away for the Arkansas.
Razorback tailback Alex Collins celebrates with Arkansas’ fans who made the trip to Baton Rouge.
Drew Morgan lets out a shot of joy after the Razorbacks took down the Tigers.
Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen was 9-of-16 passing for 141 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Kody Walker had 17 carries for 88 yards in his best outing of the season.
Deatrich Wise had three first-half sacks.
Alex Collins hits the hole on his big 80-yard touchdown run.
Collins was untouched on the run until he got to the 2-yard line.
Dre Greenlaw hits LSU quarterback Brandon Harris and forces a fumble that fellow linebacker Brooks Ellis recovered.
Brooks Ellis picks up the fumble and puts Arkansas in position to score its third touchdown of the first half.