LSU 31, Arkansas 26

Darren McFadden and Felix Jones turned in big games against the proud LSU run defense, but JaMarcus Russell and the Tigers were too much. The Hogs head to Atlanta as SEC West champs, but lost for the first time in 11 games.

Arkansas couldn't overcome it's only turnover of the game and a 92-yard kickoff return. The Hogs had one final chance down one score with 2:13 to play, but four straight incomplete passes ended their 10-game winning streak.

Arkansas outgained LSU, 360 to 328, in total yards, including 298 yards on 39 rushes. McFadden and Jones averaged 8.7 and 8.6 yards, respectively.

The Hogs went down when quarterback Casey Dick was incomplete on four straight passes after the Hogs got the ball back on a punt at their own 27-yard line.

Tailback Darren McFadden rushed 21 times for 182 yards. Felix Jones, often taking handoffs from McFadden, carried 16 times for 137 yards.

LSU's last November loss was in the same stadium. The Tigers last lost in November in 2002 when the Hogs escaped in the closing seconds with a 21-20 victory.

The Tigers entered with the SEC's best defense and top offense, statistically. They are easily the best against the run. The closest any running back came to going over the century mark was last week when the Ole Miss tailback B.J. Green-Ellis made 96.

LSU had allowed only four rushing TDs on the season and the longest run from scrimmage was a 30-yarder in the season's second week against Arizona. There had been only one other run over 20 yards.

But the Hogs beat that on their first play, a wide receiver sweep by Felix Jones for 40 yards. The Hogs also became the first team to score on LSU on their first possession when they raced 80 yards in six plays. Darren McFadden, lining up in the shotgun, passed 28 yards to Robert Jones on a post, then covered the final yard on a plunge over right tackle. The score stayed 6-0 when Jeremy Davis was wide left on the extra point at 12:30 of the first quarter.

LSU went backwards on its first possession. The Hogs had them three-and-out when Randy Kelly and Weston Dacus blitzed and swarmed JaMarcus Russell for an 8-yard loss on third-and-8.

The Hogs couldn't do any better than the Tigers on their second possession. McFadden made 4 on first down, but Dick was incomplete on two straight, just missing Damian Williams down the sideline and then throwing behind Monk on third down. Williams went to the locker room after that series. He appeared to be bothered by a shoulder injury.

The Tigers went ahead with a six-play, 70-yard TD march. They overcame a 6-yard loss and a holding penalty, erasing second-and-16 with a 22-yard screen to Dwayne Bowe. The big wideout splattered Dacus on the play. Keiland Williams coasted the final 22 yards when the right side wiped out the Hog defense. It was 7-6 at 4:51 of the first quarter.

Arkansas was three-and-out again. McFadden slipped and gained only 1 on first down. On third-and-8, Dick wanted to throw the screen, but the Tigers smelled it and the quarterback had to take a sack.

LSU's last possession of the first quarter started at its 49, but they punted on fourth-and-1 from the UA 42 to end the quarter. The Hogs made one first down on a 12-yard sweep by Jones, then went backwards again. Dick's third-down throw to Monk was batted down when it appeared London Crawford was open deep.

LSU made it 14-6 when Russell overcame third-and-13 with a strike down the sideline to Craig Davis. The big wideout beat the corner, then stepped over a dive by freshman safety Jerrell Norton, then sailed through scattered Hogs in the middle of the field. The play went for 47 yards with 10:55 left.

The Hogs actually scored twice on their next possession. After McFadden kept from the shotgun for 30, Jones had a 39-yard TD scamper wiped out when Stephen Parker clipped well after the tailback had passed him. But the Hogs took advantage of a pass interference penalty when McFadden was open on the bomb to score again on Dick's 21-pass-and-run to Marcus Monk. The big wideout was interfered with on a throw to the end zone with no call two plays before that. He waded through three Tigers for the final 10 yards on the TD play.

LSU's lead stayed at 14-12 at 7:07 of the second quarter when the Hogs came up empty on the two-point play. On a quick snap, Dick tried a lob for Jones in the right corner but it was too long and out of bounds.

The Hogs got one more chance in the first half when Russell fumbled at the end of a 6-yard quarterback sneak and Marcus Harrison covered it at the 50 with four minutes left in the half.

On third-and-7 from the LSU 35, McFadden made nothing on a keeper at right guard. The Hogs ran the clock inside of 90 seconds before punting and the Tigers needed two plays to send the game to intermission.

LSU took the second half kickoff to drive 70 yards on 15 plays to make it 17-12 with 7:24 left. Colt Davis converted on a 27-yard field goal after the Tigers stalled on fourth and goal at the UA 10.

The Tigers took advantage of a holding call on a 1-yard completion on a third-and-10 play in the middle of the drive. It appeared Marcus Harrison was also held as he chased Russell on the play. Alley Broussard had five straight punnishing runs late in the drive as the Tigers blocked the middle of the UA defense.

The Hogs did make a first down, but kept the ball for less than a minute before Skinner punted the Tigers back to their 15-yard line.

LSU lost the ball on another second-effort running play when Broussard lost the ball with his linemen pushing him from behind and the Hogs ripping at the ball from the front. The Hogs covered it at their own 17 with 2:47 left in the third quarter.

Arkansas rolled to the LSU 35 behind runs from Jones (18, 16 and 9) and McFadden (6, 1 and 9), but failed on fourth-and-3 when Dick was sacked for a loss of 15 yards. He didn't wait long in the shot gun when he appeared to lock in on Monk and he was caught running for his life.

The Tigers went three and out without using much of the clock and the Hogs had it back at their 20 with 12:31 left. That's when the Hogs turned it over for the first time, a pass by Dick that went off Wes Murphy and right to safety LaRon Landry. The return of 23 put the Tigers at the UA 9-yard line.

On third down from the 7-yard line, Russell lobbed over cornerback Darius Vinnett and end Early Doucet, a step beyond the smallish senior Razorback, made the catch in a bit of a wrestling match. The lead was 24-12 at 10:59 of the fourth quarter.

It didn't take but a few seconds for the Hogs to answer. McFadden took a handoff from Dick and raced through the heart of LSU's proud defense. He went 80 yards, pulling away from the two safeties that thought they had him at midfield. It was 24-19 at 10:31. Jesie Daniels was the last man and his dive from behind missed McFadden's feet.

Of course, the Tigers had an answer. Trindon Holliday took the kickoff 92 yards to make it 31-19 at 10:14. Jerrell Norton had a bit of an angle, but not enough speed to catch Holliday.

Jones tried to match that return, but he managed only 62 yards to the LSU 37. McFadden and Jones took turns running the ball -- with a McFadden throw to Dick for 5 yards sprinkled in. Jones went around right end for the final 5 yards to cut the LSU lead to 31-26 at 4:53.

The Hogs kicked high and short and LSU took a fair catch at its 27. The Hogs declined a pass interference penalty to set up third and 10 and Russell burned them with a 16-yard strike to Bowe. The Hogs finally forced a punt on fourth and 1 at the UA 48 with 2:13 to play.



Kevin Woods dives for LSU's Buster Davis.



Robert Johnson fights for yardage against the Tigers.

Photos by Tom Ewart

Hawgs Daily Top Stories