LITTLE ROCK – LSU had seen all the Miracles on Markham it wanted to from two years ago and made sure there was no magic or miracles this time from either gifted Matt Jones, who is now a former University of Arkansas quarterback, or any of his teammates.
That's because the Tigers ended the Razorbacks' season, Jones' career and UA head coach Houston Nutt's undefeated mark at War Memorial Stadium in one fell swoop by routing Arkansas 43-14 Friday afternoon before 55,829 fans in the venerable old stadium.
Jones, injured and unable to run the ball effectively, had connected with DeCori Birmingham on a touchdown pass late in the game two years ago in Little Rock that lifted the Razorbacks to a thrilling 21-20 win over the Tigers in 2002.
That contest was thus dubbed the Miracle on Markham and sent Arkansas to the SEC Championship game.
There was nothing like that from the home team on on Friday and thus Arkansas (5—6, 3-5) failed to win the all-important sixth game of the season against the defending national champion.
Thesix loss instead of sixth win kept them from becoming bowl eligible and accepting a berth in the Independence Bowl Dec. 28 in Shreveport, La.
LSU (9-2, 6-2) had a 27-14 lead at halftime and punctuated its dominance by punching in its first possession of the second half after Jones threw one of his two interceptions on the day on Arkansas' initial one.
Tiger quarterback Marcus Randall, who passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more and was the star QB this game, then all but sealed the deal with a 6-yard scoring run that sent his team up 34-14 with 9:48 in the third quarter.
LSU capped the scoring with Jackson's 27-yard field goal with 5:57 left in the contest and then Shyrone Carey putting an emphatic statement on the game with 1:37 remaining on a nine-yard TD run.
In his final game, Jones finished 12-of-19 passing for 152 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
Randall was 10-of-14 passing for 173 yards and also rushed 17 times for 79 yards.
Ally Broussard had 16 carries for 81 yards for LSU while freshman Peyton Hillis had 5 carries for 66 yards for Arkansas.
The win will likely be good enough to send LSU to a Florida bowl, year after beating Oklahoma in the national championship game.
LSU took an early 7-0 lead on it's second possession of the game with Randall passing for 58 of the 66 yards his team covered in the 7-play drive.
It was started by Randall's 24-yard pass to Dwayne Bowe and capped by his 20-yard strike to Joseph Addai for the touchdown with 7:38 left in the first quarter.
Arkansas answered right back when DeCori Birmingham ran the kickoff back 47 yards, freshman running back Peyton Hillis went 42 yards on an Jones' option pitch and then caught a 7-yard pass and scored.
Chris Balserio's PAT with exactly seven minutes left tied it 7-7 after a drive that lasted just two plays and 38 seconds.
LSU would then take a 10-7 lead on Chris Jackson's 46-yard field goal with 32 seconds left in the opening quarter after marching 51 yards in 12 plays.
A failed Arkansas gamble early on in the second quarter allowed the Tigers to take a 10-point advantage on the homestanding Razorbacks.
UA punter Jeremy Davis overthrew a pass intended for gunner Darius Vinnett instead of booting the ball and instead of a big play for Arkansas it set up a scoring one for the visitors.
LSU quickly took advantage of that as Randall went up top for 29 yards to Joseph Addai on the first play after the gift and Ryan Gaudet's PAT made it 17-7 with 13:23 remaining in the opening half.
But after the Razorbacks went three-and-out on the next possession, LSU returned the favor when Davis' punt went off Tiger Chevis Jackson and Pierre Brown jumped on the muffed ball just 15 yards from the goal line.
After Hillis ran for two, Jones hit Stephen Harris in the corner of the end zone on a 13-yard strike and Balseiro's PAT got Arkansas within 17-14.
LSU pushed it to 20-14 when after deciding to punt before Arkansas took a timeout, the Tigers changed their mind and Jackson drilled a career-long 53-yarder at the 7:50 mark.
The Razorbacks pushed into Tiger territory after that, but had to punt and left LSU time to find the end zone before halftime.
An 80-yard drive that took 11 plays ended with 20 seconds to spare when Randall ran in from the 1 and Gaudet tacked on the extra point to give LSU a 27-14 lead at half.
LSU 43, UA 14
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