LSU Quarterback Gives Hogs' Defense Fits

LITTLE ROCK -- Fighting back tears as he walked through a crowd of fans, Marcus Whitmore still was man enough to autograph the bill of a young man's Hogs hat.

The Razorbacks' senior linebacker also was man enough to admit that the Tigers' offense flat out beat Arkansas in Friday's 43-14 loss in War Memorial Stadium.

"I made my first tackle here and my last tackle here, so it really hurts," Whitmore said. "I mean, that was the defending National Champions (they shared the title with Southern Cal last season) and they played like it.

"But we played our guts out."

It didn't matter as LSU quarterback Marcus Randall played his guts out, too. He completed 10 of 14 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns, but scorched the Hogs with his running on scrambles and draw plays as he had a career-high 79 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.

"Overall, we did a good job," said Hogs safety Vickiel Vaughn. "We just didn't contain the quarterback. In the end, that's what really hurt us because he had a lot of room to run.

"Anytime they needed a big play, he'd scramble or run a draw to make the yards that they needed."

Several of Randall's big plays came in the clutch as LSU was 7 of 12 on third-down conversions. That led to a huge time of possession advantage for the Tigers as they kept the ball for 34 minutes, 6 seconds, including a whopping 11:49 in the fourth quarter.

"They really got us on all those third downs," said Arkansas defensive end Jamaal Anderson. "I think that's what really killed us.

"It seemed like we couldn't get off the field."

Admittedly, Arkansas' defense wasn't ready for Randall's running. Preparations this week keyed on stopping the Tigers' running game since tailback Alley Broussard rushed for a school-record 250 yards in last week's 27-24 win against Ole Miss.

"We were expecting them to run because of what (Broussard) did last week," said Hogs nose guard Keith Jackson, who led the team with nine tackles, including two for a loss of 18 yards. "That was mostly what we were looking for this week, so that kind of threw us off a little bit."

The focus on stopping the run led Arkansas' defense to bite on several play-action run fakes, which Randall was selling well.

Linebacker Pierre Brown was burned on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Randall to Joseph Addai when he was caught out of position after a fake handoff in the second quarter.

"It was our job to play the run first and that's what we did," Brown said. "We bit on a few fakes and their athletes were so good and so fast that we didn't have time to recover."

When the Tigers did run, they averaged 5.6 yards per carry and racked up 295 rushing yards. A huge chunk of those yards came behind the blocking of the left side of the line, which is stacked with guard Will Arnold (6-foot-4, 320 pounds) and tackle Andrew Whitworth (6-7, 325).

"They had a pretty nice running scheme with their running backs on cut backs," said defensive end Marcus Harrison. "You've got to be disciplined when that starts happening and control your gaps, which we didn't do well."

Arkansas' pass defense, which entered Friday at No. 103 in the nation, was effective in deep coverage, but still gave up a few short passes underneath, mostly on passes to running backs out of the backfield.

When the receivers did catch long passes, it usually came on double moves where the defensive backs lost their man on a route.

"It wasn't that tough to defend," said cornerback Darius Vinnett. "We just didn't stay on top of it every time.

"They did their jobs and we didn't."

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